Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Solomon Nkansah, has described as needles, the restoration of the trainee nurses’ allowance by President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, virtually implying that a future NDC government would abolish it.

This is in spite of the fact that the restoration of the allowance has brought joy to about 58,000 trainee nurses who admit that the money would go a long way to boost their education and positively impact their lives.

On Tuesday, October 10, 2017, President Akufo-Addo launched the restoration of the allowance in Sunyani, Brong-Ahafo Regional capital, in fulfillment of his 2016 campaign promise, with a pledge to invest in the education of young Ghanaians.

A day after, Solomon Nkansah, the NDC propaganda man, granted an interview to Kumasi-based Nyhira FM, saying, “This is needless and cosmetic.”

According to him, “It will not help the beneficiaries and Ghanaians in general because this is not what they promised in opposition.”

The nursing trainees’ allowance was one of the many pro-poor education packages scrapped by the erstwhile NDC administration under President John Mahama, saying that the decision was not reversible.

Its cancellation in 2014 reportedly caused undue hardship for thousands of trainee nurses nationwide, leading to President Akufo-Addo taking up the issue in 2016 with a pledge to restore it when given the nod at the polls to lead the country.

True to his words, the allowance has been restored and each trainee is expected to receive GH¢400 a month – rather than the GH¢350 the students were being paid before it was scrapped in 2014.

Quota System

Interestingly, as the beneficiaries and their parents are rejoicing and showering praises on President Akufo-Addo for restoring smiles on their faces, loud mouthed Nkansah and his National Democratic Congress are insisting that the restoration had resulted in a quota system in the health sector.

“This is not what they promised Ghanaians. NDC was giving out four hundred and Fifty Ghana Cedis to each nursing student. How much is government paying now?” he enquired.

Senseless Decision

But the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) in response to Mr. Nkansah’s comments, said the Mahama government’s cancellation of the allowance was a “senseless and irrational decision.”

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Greater Accra branch of GRNMA, Douglas Adu-Fokuo, in a statement said, “It is unfortunate to hear people like Solomon Nkansah saying ‘restoration of trainee allowance is needless.’ Well that is what democracy, so permit me to say: the cancelation of trainees’ allowance is the ever-senseless decision on earth.

“I advise my brother, Solomon Nkansah to get a copy of the research work by GRNMA and study it carefully before making such utterances.”

Quota Necessary

Meanwhile, President of the Registered Nurses and Midwives Association of Ghana, Kwaku Asante Krobea, has indicated that the reduction in the intake of trainee nurses has absolutely nothing to do with the restoration of the allowance.

Mr. Asante-Krobea has stated categorically that contrary to the claims being made by a section of the public, the reduction in the intake of trainee nurses was completely unrelated to the restoration of the allowance.

According to him, the reduction was to enhance the health system with the available limited infrastructure at the various nursing training colleges.