The Forum for Setting the Records Straight, a pressure group within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), has challenged the leadership of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), to, as a matter of urgency, make public the accounts of the unprecedented achievements they claim they had achieved in their eight years in power.

At a crowded press conference in Accra yesterday and addressed by a deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Fiifi Fiavi Kwettey, the group condemned what they called many distortions peddled by the NPP in the remarkable economic achievements of President John Evans Atta Mills’ administration.

He pointed out that a lot of Ghanaians saw the abysmal economic performance of the NPP and the crisis in which they left the economy when they were leaving office in 2008.

Flanked by two deputy Ministers of State, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah and Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the former propaganda secretary of the NDC accused the erstwhile Kufuor administration of completely collapsing the agriculture sector, particularly cotton production.

He stressed that one of the country’s economic sectors that saw a massive collapse under the NPP was the cotton sector which, according to him, President Mills, in just three years has given a new lease of life to by investing $2.6 million to boost the sector.

Speaking on the theme: “Straightening the distortions and telling the Mills story truly: The Mills phenomenal economic infrastructure record, vis-a-vis NPP’s comical record,” he said for the first time in the history of Ghana, 40,000 farmers in 2011, cultivated 23,000 ha of cotton in the three Northern regions from the previous figure of 2500.

He said lint cotton production increased to 7000 metric tons in 2011 from about 1300 MT previously.

He argued that the NPP came into office in 2001 trumpeting to the rooftops its avowed commitment towards the modernisation of agriculture and the 30 per cent reduction in the quantum of rice imported into the country.

He mocked at purported unprecedented achievements the NPP Kufuor-led administration claimed to have been achieved.

“That was the talk. What did the NPP do about the talk? When NPP left office after eight years, the number of available Rice Combine Harvesters stood at an insignificant four (4).

Within three years that the Mills administration took over, the number of rice combine harvesters significantly increase from single four (4) to 140 new rice combine harvesters”

He noted that “is it any surprise that whereas rice import shot up under NPP from $100 million to about $500 million, within the space of three years, President Mills has reduced the import of rice to about 30 per cent.

“We repeat the difference between the NDC and the NPP is like light and darkness. While President Mills walk the talk, all NPP does is to huff and puff and deliver as can be seen in the example above.”

Enumerating what appeared to be remarkable achievements of the Mills administration, Mr. Kwettey noted that the current government achieved a lot in the following sectors: “road sector, transport sector, agriculture sector, infrastructure, energy infrastructure, budget deficit less than 3 per cent, three months of import cover and lastly central bank financing not exceeding 10 per cent of the previous year tax revenue.”

Mr. Kwettey asserted that President Mills scored four over four compared to the NPP in 2008 under Mr. John Agyekum which the group said scored zero.

He went on to add that “President Mills therefore clocked 100 per cent, a feat NPP never achieved.”

He indicated that the NDC government has shown a lot of commitment and preparedness by putting in place contingency measures to complete major road projects the NPP abandoned in the country.

Mr. Kwettey therefore urged Ghanaians not to allow themselves to be deceived by the NPP that it has plans to improve their lot when they vote them into power in this year’s elections.

STORY: KORYEKPOR AWLESU FREEMAN

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