A leading member of the opposition NDC, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has applauded the efforts of former Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor in leading the charge to change the anti-business image of the party.
According to him, Dr. Duffuor’s Ahot) project tailored to establish 275 startups for the benefit of the grassroots in the largest opposition party fits into the objective of the Business Development Committee of the NDC.
“As the chairman of the NDC Business Development Committee, which I encouraged the past chairman, Mr Portuphy to create in 2016; Business Development Committee of NDC, many of you may not know about it, we’ve not gone round as much as we should. We’ve been to some constituencies – We’ve been to Volta region, Ashanti region, Western region, but maybe you are not hearing of that committee here. The committee’s objective is very similar to what Dr. Duffuor is doing, which is what can we do in NDC to change the image of NDC from what some people think is not a business-friendly party to one that is more business-friendly. I don’t know whether you’re aware that is one of the biggest problems we’re facing as a party. People think we are anti-business because during the PNDC time, certain things happened to some business people. So it’s still prevailing till today,” Spio-Garbrah told party supporters at Ashaiman during the launch of Dr. Kwabena Duffuor’s Ahot) project for NDC grassroots.
The former Minister of Education, as well as Trade and Industry Minister in the erstwhile Mahama administration, said the age-long perception about the NDC has dealt a big blow to the party as the NDC is losing numbers at the Universities, with a fall-off of membership of the Tertiary Educational Institutions Network (TEIN) who are rather joining TESCON.
“So if you ask our young people, they go to the University as NDC supporters, belonging to TEIN, but before they graduate, they’re TESCON members. Why because they’ve been made to believe that as for NDC, there may not be enough opportunities for you. We don’t create businesses, we don’t support business people, we’re not entrepreneurs. So the people who do the business, they’re all NPP, NPP, NPP. You go to NPP, that is where the money is, you get some money, but if you stay in NDC, ahh well you’re on your own!”
Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah underscored the need for massive support of the NDC Ahot) project to empower the people and make the grassroots resourceful in their respective jurisdiction.
“So if somebody rises in NDC such as Dr. Duffuor who says look I’ve got a good and brilliant idea, why don’t I make some of my resources available to the party, to footsoldiers, to Mmobrowa, even at a time of difficulty in the Ghanaian economy when the government of the day doesn’t know what to do and all they’re doing is E-levy, E-levy, then you have to support the person because he’s doing the right thing.”
Dr. Kwabena Duffour on Thursday launched Phase One of a grassroots party empowerment and self-financing project dubbed the “Ahot)” Project for the opposition NDC party at the Ashaiman constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
The party elders as well as the rank and file of the NDC including constituency and branch executives attended the launch of the project.
Speaking at the launch to formally begin the implementation of the project, the former Finance Minister and Bank of Ghana Governor told party supporters the project is an outcome of his stakeholder engagements with the rank and file of the NDC and his quest to bring a new approach to politics.
“The Ahot) project launched today is a testament of the power of stakeholder engagement and its credit rests on the rank and file of the party. All these years, you have held the fort for the party and borne the responsibility of catering for the needs of your many constituents. Late night calls about a member rushed to the hospital, days when you struggle to pool funds for party mobilization and the numerous financial burdens which come with your leadership as constituency executives”.
The idea of Ahot) which means ‘’relief’’ in the Akan language according to the project manager Abass Osabutey, is the outcome of a business feasibility study commissioned by Dr. Duffuor and carried out by a technical team throughout the 275 constituencies in the country to identify the most feasible and sustainable business idea capable of financing NDC party activities at the local level.
He explained that each constituency shall receive accessories, logistics and equipment worth 30,000 Ghana cedis to enable the smooth implementation of the business project. This brings the total investment to 8,250,000 Ghana cedis.
“For example, in our local settings, social events such as funerals, naming ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, durbars, political campaigns and rallies are mostly outdoor activities. This places high demand on plastic chairs, canopies, public address systems, power generators, podiums, mobile toilets etc.
Phase One of the project which starts from the Ashaiman constituency will cover forty eight (48) constituencies selected, based on constituencies with the highest voter population and those that are orphan constituencies.’’