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NPP spent $1.3 billion on foreign rice importation within their three years in government -Ibrahim Murtala

The former deputy minister of trade and industry under John Dramani Mahama led administration, Ibrahim Mohammed Murtala, has expressed doubts over a campaign to ban the importation of rice in the country.

According to the former MP for Nanton who is now a parliamentary candidate for Tamale Central constituency, available facts indicated that majority of the rice importers finance the ruling party, and thus, it will be impossible for this government to ban the importation of rice in to the country.

The NDC parliamentary candidate for Tamale Central also stated that the NPP within their three years in government spent US$ 1.3 billion on importation of rice in the country. “This means that we are now importing more than we produce”, he stated.

He claimed that the NDC government before leaving power in 2016 spent not less than US$500 million on foreign rice importation. “Clearly this shows that this government is not only incompetent but supper incompetent. How can we spend this amount of money on rice importation and we want our own currency to have value?” he quizzed.

Honorable Ibrahim Murtala made this assertion in an interview with Mohammed Ibn Abdallah host of Diamond FM Power Drive.

He said the NDC led John Mahama administration in 2014 instituted series of policies to address the issue of importation of rice adding that  the then Minister of Trade and Industry, Lawyer Haruna Iddrisu, established a comprehensive monitoring team at the various ports of the country to monitor the quantity of rice being imported in to the country.

Comrade Ibrahim Murtala, said through the monitoring and other measures put together to regulate the importation of rice in the country, it reduced the importation of rice by 40% while production of local rice was increased to 60% in 2014 and 2015.

“When this government came to power, they lifted all these policies because a lot of the rice importers finance them (NPP). I said it publicly, and they haven’t denied that. So why are they complaining?” he stated.

The former MP  for Nantong Constituency speaking, also stated that the NPP led Nana Addo government claims of the Ekumfi Fruit Juice factory emanated from the One District One Factory is ‘lie’. According to him, the factory is owned by a private entity in the Central Region called Central Region Development Cooperation (CEDECON), which was financed by the Ministry of Trade under the previous government.

He said the Nana Addo led government claims of creating enabling environment for the private sector of the country and making political capital out of it, is nothing new.  “Why? Any government can do that. That is the responsibility for every government. Even in Afghanistan you create enabling environment for businesses to thrive.  That was not what you promise the people of this country”, he stressed.  

According to him, the NPP has resorted to ‘spill lies’ about Ghana’s ailing unemployment issue and might ‘collapse’ the country if not voted against in the 2020 election. He claimed the NDC did better within their 8 years in government in resolving unemployment among the youth in the country

He has however described the incumbent government as “incompetent, corrupt and confused” government led by a “confused” leader.

Murtala Mohammed noted that the issue of rice importation will continue until the NPP led Nana Addo government reinstituted the NDC policies.

“Ghana is not even safe again under this government because they don’t have a problem of lying. They think that we Ghanaians don’t ask questions. You know why? The difference between the past governments and this government is this. ‘President Nana Addo is a clearly corrupt president’ ”, he alleged.  

Source:AlhassanYakubu | www.Diamondfmonline.com | Ghana

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