The 2018 IMANIFESTO report, IMANI’s assessment of the manifesto promises of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), reveals the governing party scored high marks in delivering on its promises on agricultural production, education but performed poorly at job creation.
The analyses, according to the think tank, were undertaken along eight broad themes: Economy, Job creation, Agriculture Governance, Education, Health, Energy and Infrastructure.
“Data sources for the assessment included, the 2016 Manifesto, 2017 and 2018 Budget Statements, the Coordinated Programmes for Economic and Social Development, and project and news reports,” IMANI said in the report.
The executive summary of the report reads as follows:
The macro economy stayed on a recovery path in the first year of the NPP administration. Estimates for debt to GDP ratio (68.3%) indicates a return to sustainable levels – sustainable threshold for debt to GDP is 70%. Meanwhile, exchange rate was relatively stable with the Ghana Cedi depreciating at an average rate of 4% (as at October 2017) compared to 4.4% in the same period in 2016. Though inflation was generally on a downward trend, average lending rates remained high even with a significant reduction in the Monetary Policy Rate.
Concerning promises relating to job creation, performance in the first year was not encouraging. Despite the numerous promises targeted at creating massive employment, there is little evidence to suggest the actual number of jobs created in the first year. On the other hand, performance in the agriculture sector has been fairly good given the successful implementation of a number of programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and the significant reduction in the prices of selected agricultural inputs. There was, however, a slow pace in implementing projects relating to irrigation and fisheries.
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On Governance, the Once of the Special Prosecutor was established to help combat corruption. Public sensitization was also carried out in 2017. However, little progress was made on other anti-corruption measures or governance issues in the first year.
Under the education sector, the NPP government initiated steps to implement most of the 25 promises. These included the implementation of the Free SHS policy. The policy had implementation challenges in the form of infrastructure deficit, congestion, inadequate furniture, high preference for boarding status and raised questions concerning the sustainability of funding and quality assurance.
The Government also made e orts in achieving some of the promises in the health sector, however many gaps exist in the first-year performance of the government. Efforts made to achieve the promises included the re-introduction of the nursing trainee allowance and the partial settlement of the NHIS debt.
For the energy sector, signicant strides were made in the implementation of promises made in the Manifesto. Specifically, the institution of the energy bond which contributed to the reduction of the energy sector debt as well as the commencement of the Accelerated Oil Capacity Development Programme and the Ghana Upstream Internship Programme to develop local capacity.
It is noted however that debt reduction gains may be eroded if net debt accumulation remains positive for the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the sector. Further, the manner in which oil revenues have been allocated towards the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme is likely to negatively affect the tracking of spending regarding oil revenue.
2016 manifesto promises that were initiated in the infrastructure sector in the first year included full automation of clearance processes at the Tema and Takoradi ports as well as the commencement of the National Digital Addressing System and the National Identification System.
While the paperless system is said to have reduced clearing time from two days to eight hours and increased revenue by 35.4% within the first year, the government failed to register citizens via the National Identification System as promised.
Given the progress made so far, not should be taken of the following: government must hasten implementation of the National Identification Scheme to enhance revenue mobilization and provide a reliable data base for decision making; there is also the need to build a national database on key indicators employment and productivity for proper economic planning; transparency in “Planting for Food and Jobs” must be improved as well as improving accountability in managing the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Project; government must be more proactive in combating corruption: and government must explore innovative strategies to fund education and health.