President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday restored the allowances of training nurses and midwifery students across the country amidst jubilation.
As a result, GH¢400 each hit the accounts of 58,000 nursing and midwifery students yesterday across the country, giving a total of GH¢232 million for this academic year.
This is in fulfillment of the promise made by the president to the health students during the 2016 electioneering campaign.
He stressed that if he won power, he would restore the allowances cancelled by the Mahama administration in 2014.
There was massive jubilation among the students immediately the president arrived on the campus of the Nursing and Midwifery School at Sunyani, where the restoration launch was done.
Immediately the president arrived, the money was released into the students’ accounts via e-switch system of payment.
The students were happy, sang and danced to the tune, ‘what Mahama could not do, Nana has come to do it’ in Twi to the admiration of all the gathering.
Addressing the students, President Akufo-Addo said leadership is about choices, adding that he and the NPP government, under his able leadership, had chosen to invest in education and in the future of Ghanaians to create equal opportunities for all.
He continued, “To the professional cynics and skeptics, those who have made an industry out of constantly asking ‘is this policy sustainable?’ I wish to assure them that with the proper management of our public finances, the nation’s budget can accommodate such an amount.”
The implementation of the Free SHS policy last month (12th September), he added, should be an indicator of the fact that leadership is about choices.
“I have chosen to invest in the education and in the future of our young men and women; and I will use the blessings the Almighty has so amply bestowed on us to this end,” he added.
The payment of the allowances, the president noted, would also not have been possible without the prudent management of the economy.
“Today is a happy day for the people of Ghana. The restoration of this allowance was of utmost importance. It was not meant for political vote. We think it was necessary to provide the relevant incentive to make it possible,” President Akufo-Addo told the excited crowd in Sunyani.
According to him, the cancellation of the allowances by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration “brought untold hardships to thousands of midwives and nurses.”
“Many of your colleagues were demotivated and demoralised. The NPP government heard your cry and promised to restore the allowances. I’m ready to fulfill the pledge we made to you,” Nana Addo stated.
The president also revealed that 16,000 nurses, who completed school and were home, had been absorbed by the government and promised that more of such nurses would be employed next year.
He also revealed that GH¢560 million out of GH¢1.2 billion debt left by the Mahama administration at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had been paid, assuring that the rest would be paid next year.
Speaking earlier, Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, asked the students to use the money judiciously on their study needs and pleaded with them to learn hard to justify the investment made in them.