National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, has criticised Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for dismissing former President John Mahama’s proposed 24-hour economy policy.
As a former Deputy Finance Minister, Ricketts-Hagan believes that Dr Bawumia, being an economist, should have approached his comments more cautiously.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile programme on Saturday, November 25, the lawmaker argued that the digitalisation initiatives championed by the Vice President could serve as facilitators for the implementation of the 24-hour policy.
He advised Dr Bawumia to exercise prudence and refrain from hastily criticizing policies proposed by his closest contender.
“It is actually unfortunate when I heard Dr Bawumia as someone of his intellect being an economist arguably claiming to be the father of digitalisation would have seen that the tools that he has been championing itself are enablers for the 24-hour economy, and therefore digitalisation itself is not the ultimate goal.”
During the commencement of his two-day tour in the Ahafo Region, the NDC’s 2024 Presidential candidate addressed the skepticism surrounding his proposed 24-hour economy.
He emphasized that the initiative would provide tax incentives and other advantages to businesses voluntarily participating in the program.
According to him, the overarching goal is to increase employment opportunities for Ghanaians.
“I envision a 24-hour economy where hospital facilities, fuel stations, manufacturers, construction companies, garbage collection companies, mining and extractive industries, agro-processing, harbours and ports, financial services, and digital start-ups will operate a three-shift system 24/7 in an atmosphere of safety and security.
“This 24-hour economy I propose will be voluntary, it will not be imposed. Businesses will be encouraged to sign up with tax incentives provided for enhanced security and lower electricity tariffs after peak hours. Special meters will be deployed to provide what is known as time-of-use tariffs to deliver cheaper power to such businesses during the hours of especially 10:00 am and 6:00 am,” he explained in an address to Catholic Bishops in Sunyani on Saturday, November 18.
But some government officials and members of the incumbent party have downplayed the idea saying it is not novel. Nonetheless, the Finance Minister in his presentation of the 2024 budget statement to Parliament this month, sneaked in the idea.
The new leader of the NPP and its flagbearer for election 2024, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has also mocked the concept saying the former President is clearly out of ideas.
“Today, John Mahama says he has new ideas and that he wants a 24-hour economy, he doesn’t even understand that policy,” the Vice President stated.
“Today, our hospitals, Electricity Company, Water Company, fuel stations, chop bars and many sectors all work 24 hours. Today, because of digitalization you can transfer and receive money in 24 hours, so he doesn’t understand his own policy,” the Vice President argued.
Speaking to a gathering at a rally during his “Thank You Tour” in Tamale in the Northern Region, the Vice President asked Ghanaians to vote massively for him, saying, “Vote for Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in 2024, I will bring new vision, I will bring new policies and we will transform this country.”
“John Dramani Mahama is the past, Dr. Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was still around we would have had dumsor [Power cuts], and you can’t have dumsor with 24-hour economy,” he stated.
But Dr Bawumia has been rebuked for his comments and the latest to add to this is the former Deputy Finance Minister.
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