John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has accused the NPP government of luring voters with fifty percent of stimulus packages from the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to vote for their retention in governance come December 7.
According to him, it was through the foresight of the NDC in establishing a stabilization fund for unforeseen circumstance which gave the current government the support in securing funds for MSMEs during crisis such as the pandemic.
Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people of Abesewa in the Ashanti Region as part of his tour of the Ashanti Region, the NDC flagbearer purported that part of the money has been apportioned to members of the NPP.
“We have something called the Stabilization Fund which I kept funds in when I was President to help cushion the nation should any unforeseen circumstance befall the nation. I left about $300 million in it before leaving office. So when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, we suggested that government should use money that had accrued in the stabilization fund to buy PPE and other protective materials as well as support health personnel.
“Lo and behold, the Akufo-Addo government heeded to our advice and withdrew about GHS1.2 billion from it but GHS600 million of the said amount was to be disbursed as loans to small and medium scale enterprises. But this government has given about 50 percent of the amount to their party members and used the rest to lure voters to vote for President Akufo-Addo.”John Dramani Mahama
Meanwhile, Mr. Mahama during his campaign tour of the Greater Accra Region, voiced to the residents of Dawhenya in the Ningo Prampram constituency that, loans given by government to traders under the COVID-19 stimulus package will not be re-paid if he is elected President of Ghana on December 7.
“They are disbursing the loans to NPP people. For the amount left too, persons disbursing the COVID-19 stimulus fund are telling beneficiaries that, if they vote for Nana Akufo-Addo, the loan will not be retrieved from them but if they vote for Mahama, I will retrieve the loan when I come to power. Such political comments should not be encouraged. They are disbursing the money from the Stabilization Fund.
“I established the Stabilization Fund. The Stabilization Fund was established as a contingency measure and for disbursement during Coronavirus-like situations. So if COVID-19 hits Ghana and warranted the need for the usage of the Stabilization Fund established by me, it is pointless to tell people that I will retrieve the loan from them. Let me also say that, if I also come to power, I won’t retrieve the loan from the beneficiaries”.