Ahead of the 2024 general elections, former President and Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has said he will scrap or review some key policies currently in place, should he assume office as president.
The scrapping or reviewing of these policies, according to Mr. Mahama, will signal a commitment by his government to implement a new direction for the country.
Key of the policies to be scrapped or reviewed by the National Democratic Congress flagbearer is the Free Senior High School policy.
According to John Mahama, these policies need to be reviewed or scrapped to make them more relevant and beneficial to the majority of Ghanaians.
The first policy on John Dramani Mahama’s radar is the scrapping of ex-gratia for all Article 71 officeholders.
This act of the constitution allows for the state to give retirement benefits to executive officials after their tenure of active service. These expenditures are charged from the Consolidated Fund.
This, John Mahama stated on March 2, 2023, will be scrapped should he get the nod to lead the country as its president.
“The payment of ex-gratia to members of the executives under Article 71 will be scrapped. And the necessary constitutional steps to abolish that payment will start in earnest in 2025.
“We will also begin the process of persuading the other arms of government other than the executives to accept the removal of this ex-gratia payment” he stated.
Teachers’ Licensure Exams:
The next policy the former president has said he will scrap is the compulsory licensure examination written by trained teachers, a concept he described as a ‘needless Licensure Exam’
John Mahama criticised the concept, deeming it poorly thought-through and expressed concern about requiring students from colleges of education to undergo an additional test before practising as trained teachers.
Under the policies that will undergo review under the new NDC government, led by John Mahama, is firstly, the Free Senior High School Policy.
He stated this will be done within the first 100 days of his tenure in office as president.
Introduced by the current administration under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Free SHS policy – perhaps the most popular of this government, allows students to go to secondary school for free, at the expense of the government.
While acknowledging the positive aspects of the policy, Mahama announced his intention to review the free SHS policy within the initial 100 days of assuming office, should he win the 2024 general elections.
The former president detailed his plan to establish a committee comprising educational experts to devise an enhanced framework for the implementation of the policy.
“Within the first 100 days in government, we will convene a stakeholder summit that brings together educationists, experts, teachers, parents, students and opinion leaders to deliberate on how to improve the implementation of the Free SHS system and also improve the quality of our basic education,” he stated.
10% Sports Betting Levy:
The second policy targeted for review is the 10% Sports Betting Levy, a key government initiative aimed at increasing the tax basket of the country and raising revenue from online gaming.
This policy was introduced by the government in 2022 to take advantage of the growing interest in online sports and related online businesses.
The levy, at the time it was introduced and implemented, faced a lot of public backlash.
The NDC flagbearer announced that when he assumes office as the country’s president, he will review it.
According to him, the current government is only taking advantage of the situation.
The former president, who is actively campaigning for a return to the highest office, with the #BuildingGhanaTour, highlighted the significance of periodic policy assessments to guarantee their continued relevance and positive impact on the lives of Ghanaians.