Vociferous lawmaker for Ningo-Prampam Constituency, Hon. Sam Nartey George, has stated that, any glory derived from last Wednesday’s “Planting for food and jobs” programme launched at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region should be attributed to the former President John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
According to him, the Government of Ghana under ex-President Mahama and the Canadian Government began discussions on the design and modalities for the next phase of budget support programmes for Ghana in 2013.
He maintained that the multi-faceted programme being run primarily on the back of a US$120 million (C$125 million) fund secured from the Canadian government and was mentioned by the President during his State of the Nation Address is the brainchild of John Mahama and not Akufo-Addo.
“The Mahama administration after extensive studies decided that the sure way to food sustainability was to have a specific programme targeted at injecting capital at the District level to support agriculture,” he explained
“The Mahama administration developed a programme named Modernizing Agricultural Productivity to the Local Economy (MAPLE) programme was approved by the Canadian government and a rollout date of 2015 was set,” he argued on GHone TV yesterday morning show.
The Ningo-Prampram MP revealed that in 2015, however, there was a change in Government in Canada and this led to a delay in the disbursement of funds for the programme as the new Canadian government sought to understand the terms of the arrangement.
Sam George averred that, on the 25th of February 2016, however, the Canadian High Commission in Accra told the then Mahama government, through the Ghana Ministry of Agriculture, that approval had been given for the disbursement of US$120 million (C$125 million) by the Canadian Treasury Board in support of the MAPLE project.
Following that assurance from the Canadian Commission, he said, a rollout date of March 2017 was then set between the partners to kick start the programme.
He further argued, “It is important to note that any serious student of governance would attest to the fact that no bilateral arrangement of this nature involving such technical detail can be completed in less than 40 days.”
“It was less than 40 days of this administration when the President mentioned this fund in hius address to Parliament on the State of the Nation.”
He believes it is one of the moves by the Mahama administration to redefine the economic structure of Ghana by vigorously pursuing an import substitution programme launched by President Akufo-Addo at Goaso.
He said it was the belief of the Mahama government that the programme would boost local rice, sugar, vegetable oil and poultry production and lead to our first balance of payment surplus in 2016.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba