Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, on February 7, 2024; delivered his first major speech since his election as flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) ahead of the 2024 polls.
At the lecture dubbed “Ghana’s Next Chapter: Selfless Leadership and Bold Solutions for the Future,” Bawumia presented his vision for Ghana.
The hours-long lecture featured majorly an account of the work of the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government over the last seven years and his personal vision for various sectors of the Ghanaian economy if he is elected president.
Social media was flooded with contents of his presentation which spanned governance, economy, jobs, politics and religion among other topical areas of national discourse.
Below is what Bawumia said about major issues
Abolition of three taxes
“Taxes on gambling will be scrapped under my administration. There will be no emissions tax under my administration. 15% tax on electricity will be abolished by 2025 if it’s still on our administration.”
In the case of the VAT on electricty, government has announced a suspension of the tax handle to allow for consultation with major stakeholders.
Private sector on road construction
“I believe that the private sector should finance the construction and maintenance of roads through PPP concession arrangements.
“This policy will energize the private sector and create many jobs,” Bawumia affirmed, underscoring the potential economic benefits of increased private sector involvement in public service provision.
Review of NSS
“Ladies and Gentlemen, to help our youth get jobs, I believe it is time to rethink the concept of our current national service scheme. My government will propose that those who after completion of their education can secure jobs would be exempted from national service.
“National service will no longer be mandatory and students will have the option to decide whether to do national service. This will also encourage companies to go to campuses for recruitment annually,” the NPP flagbearer promised.
Defense of BoG
He defended the Bank of Ghana’s decision to lend to government assuring that the monies would be paid back.
“This government has had zero finance in five of the last seven years. Zero financing in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2023.
“The Bank of Ghana’s financing of the government in the Covid-19 year of 2020 and the liquidity crisis year of 2022 was because of the domestic and crisis,” he said.
Flat rate tax regime
Bawumia said his administration will “introduce a very simple, citizen and business-friendly flat tax regime” if he is elected president.
“With the new tax regime, the tax return should be able to be completed in minutes! We will also simplify our complicated corporate tax system and VAT regime,” he added.
Number of ministers
Highlighting the significance of efficient governance, Dr. Bawumia who was speaking at an event to officially announce his leadership plans, emphasized that a smaller ministerial team would facilitate streamlined decision-making processes.
“I would have no more than 50 ministers and deputy ministers,” he pledged at the event held at the UPSA Auditorium on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.
Improve Free SHS
“Under my government, Free SHS will continue and we will improve upon it.”
“And, if the person you have in mind is someone you can trust to work hard and tirelessly and selflessly for Ghana, it is Dr. Bawumia.
“If it is someone with personal integrity who is not corrupt, and can be trusted to fight corruption, then your choice, clearly, is Dr. Bawumia.
“If you are looking for the man who is more committed to protecting and using our natural resources for the benefit of Ghanaians, It is Dr. Bawumia,” he underscored.
Review the 1992 Constitution
“The current constitution was designed mainly for political stability and it has achieved that. We need to amend it with the help of Parliament to align it more for national development.
“In that context, I am committed to the process to amend the 1992 Constitution through extensive public consultation, with key emphasis on issues such as ex-gratia, the rights of dual citizens, election of MMDCEs to deepen decentralization, and empowering institutions while reducing the power of the President.”
Plans for sports development
“Sports is a multi-million dollar industry and an enabler for the youth. However, we have not realized our full sports potential, and we cannot maximize the full potential of Ghana sports, with the same funding module we have operated with since independence.
“My government will therefore, prioritise the creation of incentives for corporate sponsorship as a sustainable module of financing sports development and promotion for our national teams, including football, athletics and boxing at all levels.”