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President’s State of the Nation Address GHANA READY TO BOUNCE BACK As Star of Africa

General News

Today, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, will deliver the State of the Nation where he will address issues on national security, economy and other sectors.

Today, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, will deliver the State of the Nation where he will address issues on national security, economy and other sectors.

 

He will be playing roles predecessor National Democratic Congress leaders, including John Dramani  Mahama, had played with very little to show and leaving the country in a mess after eight years of mismanagement and fiscal indiscipline.

It is expected that the President will account to Ghanaians on some of his achievements in his first year as President.

So despicable was the mess that many were those who feared it would take a herculean task for President Akufo-Addo to put the country back, especially with the huge debt left by former President Mahama and his appointees. Indeed, so gloomy was the picture that the IEA, whilst commending the Nana Akufo Addo administration on a good job done under the circumstances in an August 2017 report, worried about challenges, including dwindling revenue mobilization targets which had the potential of stalling the nation’s debt repayment commitments.

All that notwithstanding, the President has risen to the challenge and proved his critics wrong by setting the economy on the right track, with international bodies like Bloomberg, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, all predicting that Ghana’s economy is one of the fastest growing.

Last year, the President implemented one of the most important social interventions that have ever been recorded in the country which is the Free Senior High School programme, honouring his promise of making secondary education free for Ghanaians children by funding the cost of public senior high schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards.

The Akufo-Addo administration also recued the almost defunct National Health Insurance Scheme run down by the previous administration even when NPP policy had facilitated revenue for sustaining the programme. To clear up the mess, the administration promptly paid up GH¢600 million out of its total indebtedness to the scheme. This led to improved funding and smooth running of hospitals across the country.

The government also brought back confidence into the economy by rescuing the cedi. “I am glad to report that the hard work on that front is yielding positive results. The macroeconomic fundamentals have seen improvements through improved fiscal and monetary discipline,” the President said recently when he met the media at the Presidency.

Ghana’s debt has improved with the annual average rate of debt accumulation of 36% in recent years declining to about 13.6%, as at September 2017.

For the first time in a long while, as noted by the President, government was able to give better budgetary support to the constitutionally mandated institutions that hold government accountable, i.e. Auditor General, Parliament, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Economic and Organised Crime Office, and the Police.

On Agriculture, reports indicate that the ‘planting for food and jobs’ programme, which registered over 200,000 farmers in the 2017 crop season, has been a big success, with plans to push it up to 500,000.

“I am particularly excited about the institutional sub-programmes, where twenty (20) Senior Technical High Schools, National Service Scheme and the Prison Services were supported to cultivate their own farms. Under the Youth in Agriculture programme of Planting for Food and Jobs, ten thousand (10,000) youth were supported to cultivate eight hundred (800) hectares and ten thousand, three hundred and twenty (10,320) hectares of rice and maize, respectively,” the President added when he met the media last month.

President Nana Akufo-Addo restored Nursing trainee allowances scrapped by the previous (Mahama) government and saw to it that over 58,000 trainee nurses and midwives in the various public nursing and midwifery schools receive a little over GH¢400 every month.

The payment of the allowances, which were scrapped by the erstwhile NDC, was met with strong resistance from the nursing trainees who complained bitterly about the difficulties it had brought upon them.

The NDC government insisted the continuous payment of the allowances would threaten the future of Ghana’s economy.

Again, as part of measures in increasing revenue generation in the country as well as plug all leakages, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia proposed the paperless system at the ports which has since been implemented.

During the first week after its implementation, an initial assessment of the implementation of the paperless system at the country’s ports has shown a revenue collection improvement of 56 percent.

Revenue at the ports increased from GHc130 million in the first week of September 2016, to GHc213 million in the same period for 2017.

Although President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured that achieving those feats had not been rosy, the government was bent of achieving more to make the country prosperous again.