4 More to Do More: President points to a Ghana on the way to prosperity Featured

By By Nana Yaw Dwamena January 15, 2020 2732 1479 comments

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed that the NPP government will still work hard for victory in the December elections though it has made significant gains in managing the economy over the past three years.

“Having achieved all these significant milestones, even in the midst of the difficulties we met, I am hopeful that the Ghanaian people would reward my party with another resounding victory in 2020,” he said yesterday.

“We will not be complacent, and we will work hard for victory, regardless of the fact that ‘One Good Term Deserves Another’. We need four more years to do more.”

The President was speaking at the maiden edition of the Results Fair at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The Results Fair, the President declared, “demonstrates our appreciation of the fact that a lot more needs to be done to achieve the Ghana that we want”.

“It is also an indication of our resolve to secure a better future for all Ghanaians. Although a lot has been achieved over the past three years, there is still more work to be done to transform our country.”

Bad inheritance

President Akufo-Addo said that the macroeconomic situation his government inherited was a dire one, evidenced by GDP growth of 3.6 per cent, a fiscal deficit of 9.3 per cent, an inflation rate of 15.4 per cent and a weak external reserves position.

The banking sector was weighed down by a plethora of poorly capitalised, weak and insolvent institutions, the President said, with potentially grave consequences for the whole financial system.

“Agricultural and industrial activities were down. Unemployment, especially of the youth, was widespread, against a background of low incomes and high prices.”

This, compounded by several other problems, he said, exacerbated the distressing state of the economy which awaited his government in January 2017, “enough to undermine the pledges we made in the 2016 manifesto, the platform on which we won the election of 2016”.

Realistic policies

The President said he is nonetheless convinced that the programmes put in place by his government will revive the economy, improve citizens’ health and social well-being, create a society of opportunity for all, and help put Ghana on to the path of progress and prosperity.

“Indeed, many were those who made disparaging remarks about our policies and went as far as describing them as election gimmicks. However, by dint of hard work, we have implemented these flagship programmes, and we have begun to see their impact throughout the country, with the overarching vision being to realise our vision of moving Ghana to a situation beyond aid,” he said.

“We are determined to use our resources to build a robust economy that would propel us into the ranks of the developed nations of the world, take our fate in our own hands, and work to bring us to where we do not look for or expect charity,” the President said.

Net exporter of food

He noted how, thanks to the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, Ghana is in the process of reducing her dependence on imported rice. Some 785,000 tonnes of rice have been milled in Ghana in 2019.

“By 2022 our country will be self-sufficient in the production of rice. We have also had two bumper years of produce and, last year, we did not import, unlike in previous years, a single grain of maize. On the contrary, we are now a net exporter of foodstuffs,” he said.

The “One District, One Factory” policy, he told guests at the fair, has taken off.

“Currently, 58 factories under the scheme are functioning. Another 26 are under construction, with another 26 pipeline projects set to commence implementation by the first quarter of 2020.

“In addition to the implementation of the automotive policy, with the setting up of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GISDEC), our industrialisation agenda will soon be realised,” he said.

Employment

The President noted that, since he came into office, 100,000 graduates have been employed through the Nation Builders Corps, 54,892 health-care workers have been hired and 66,357 teachers have obtained jobs.

He added that the “One Village, One Dam” programme, the Zongo Development Fund and the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) are being pursued to stimulate job creation opportunities across the country.

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