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2016 polls: Akufo-Addo promises ‘one village, one dam’

Nana Akufo-Addo is flagbearer of the NPP

The 2016 flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo has promised to create at least, a dam, in every village in the Northern region, should he emerge President after the December 7, polls.

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the only way to increase the total land area under cultivation in Ghana, which currently stands at a mere 30,000 out of 14 million hectares of arable land, is for the country to develop more irrigation systems.

“You have been hearing me talking about 1-District-1-Factory. As far as this part of the country is concerned, I even want to go further and talk about “1-village-1-dam”, to make sure that in every village, we have a functioning dam to support agriculture. If Ghana’s agriculture is working well, the nation is capable of feeding West Africa,” the former attorney general told the traditional council at Bolgatanga in the Upper East region during his campaign tour there.

In his remarks, the NPP flagbearer explained that an NPP government, under his leadership, is going to ensure that “our lands have the water for a buoyant agriculture. We want to be able to make sure that the entire northern sector of our country, which is a potential bread basket of Ghana, has the irrigation platform to make agriculture work.”

He continued, “You are close to Burkina Faso, and you know what is going on there. They are able to conserve water and irrigate their lands. They are exporting vegetables, fruits, amongst others. With all the problems they have politically, their agriculture is working. We are at peace and ours is not working, because we don’t have correct policies. We believe we can put in correct policies to make agriculture work.”

Addressing the concerns of funding for this initiative, Nana Akufo-Addo assured that “the money is there.” However, he noted that “a lot of it is going into people’s private pockets and not developing the nation. We cannot continue along that road where contracts are inflated and half of the money that should be used in developing the welfare of our people is going into private pockets.”

The promise comes in the wake of his controversial ‘one district, one factory’ mantra which has been shredded by policy think tank – IMANI Africa.

According to IMANI, of the 29 promises made by the NPP so far, only one appears feasible and carefully planned.

“Only one out of the 29 promises made by the NPP is quantifiable, 14, semi-quantifiable and 14 non-quantifiable,” IMANI said in their report.

It explained: “Under governance, 8 promises were found, 3, semi-quantifiable, and one interesting promise was to create a western north region during his [Nana Addo’s] tenure of office. What does the constitution say about this promise? Article 5 of the Constitution says that a commission of enquiry must show the president that there is substantive demand for a new region and a referendum conducted must entail at least 50 percent of persons entitled to vote.

“And once the vote is cast, the pass rate must be 80 percent in favour of the issue. So these provisions are to be satisfied in order for the promises to fulfilled”.

Source: Ghana/ Danso Acheampong

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