Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the 2016 vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, has announced that an Akufo-Addo government, God-willing, from 2017 will allocate US$275 million per year to tackle issues relating to infrastructural development and poverty alleviation in rural and deprived communities across the country.
This amount, he explained, is to be contained in the “Infrastructure for Poverty Alleviation Programme”, which will be established by Nana Akufo-Addo’s government, should Ghanaians repose their confidence in the NPP in this year’s elections.
Making this known on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, in Bunkpurugu, on the 1st day of Nana Akufo-Addo’s 4-day tour of the Northern Region, Dr. Bawumia explained that the monies for this programme will be drawn out of the capital budget of the country, which, according to the 2016 budget, stands at US$1.6 billion.
Describing the John Mahama government as “very bereft of ideas”, who keep complaining that “we (in the NPP) are saying we are making promises all over the place”, Dr. Bawumia explained that the Infrastructure for Poverty Alleviation Programme the NPP will put in place “is going to lead to the eradication of poverty in this country.”
With each of the 275 constituencies benefiting from this programme, Dr. Bawumia noted that “we are going to put resources at the disposal of the rural communities and the poorest communities in every constituency.”
He stressed that “in the capital budget of the country, we are going to be spending US$1.6 billion on capital expenditures this year. Our new programme of infrastructure for poverty eradication is, therefore, going to take US$275 million from the capital expenditure budget.
“Every constituency in Ghana, every year from this programme, will get the equivalent of US$1 million to spend on priority infrastructure. You can use this US$1 million a year to deal with the problems of the constituency in the rural and deprived areas. It is up to the local people to decide what their problems are and what to use that US$1 million for.”
The NPP with this programme, Dr. Bawumia reiterated, is “going to focus on rural development, on the poor, and after four years of Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with every constituency getting US$4 million, you will see growth in infrastructural development and poverty alleviation” in all 275 constituencies.
With the question of “where are you going to get the money from?” the most asked question when the NPP rolls out a policy, Dr. Bawumia stated that “the money is already there.”
He assured Ghanaians that the NPP is not coming into office “to steal the money. We are going to use the money for the people… We are going to focus on the poor and the problems of the poor”.