President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admitted that his government has not turned Ghana into Paradise in three years of his administration.
According to him, he would be lying if he made such claim.
However, he was quick to say, his government had laid the foundation to rapidly push Ghana forward.
President Akufo-Addo said when he took over power, the economy was in a bad state but under his leadership, he had restored investor confidence in the economy.
Speaking to Ghanaians living in Oslo, Norway, as part of his working visit to the Scandinavian country, the President said he needed four more years to do more.
He said: “There’s a lot of work we still need to do to bring Ghana up to where we want to be. I’m not going to say we’ve created in these three years in Ghana paradise, it’s a lie, I’ll never make that claim but I’ll say that looking at the legacy that we inherited – an economy that was growing at its lowest it had been for nearly two decades, highly indebted country, struggling in all areas in the energy sector, educational sector, in the health sector, our national health insurance scheme which was a great legacy of President Kufuor was virtually moribund, our energy sector equally compromised by heavy indebtedness which had brought about the dumsor phenomenon that even if you didn’t live in Ghana at the time, you heard about.
“We had a phenomenon where 100,000 Ghanaians were dropping out of school – junior high school every year – and the sluggish economy, low wages, high inflation which was 15.4 per cent when I took office to 7.8 per cent as we speak today…
“We inherited a fiscal deficit of 9.3 percent when I took office in 2017 and it is 4.5 percent as we speak now. All of these are indications that the economy, the micro indices of our economy are now being put in a really sound place. So, we are in a position now to make the big push for the investments that we want and an indication in what is ahead of us was given barely a week ago in the capital markets in London when we went to the market looking for $3billion worth of money to finance a bond.
“Investors came with five times that amount to the table [that is] $15 billion worth. The period of the bond – 41 years – is the longest maturity bond ever issued to any African country South of the Sahara.
“And to give you an idea of what is happening between 2017 and 2020, in 2016, when the Mahama government went to the market looking for bond money, they went and received the equivalent amount of money at 9.75 percent as the rate of the coupon but the one that we’ve just issued is 6.35 percent to give you a clear idea of the difference and a sense of confidence that the market has in the manner in which we are managing the economy.”
Nana Akufo-Addo further said that despite the painful banking sector reforms which had the full blessings of his government, “today, we have a banking system that is much fit for purpose than we’ve had for a very long time. They are well capitalised, they are liquid, they are solvent…as a result the Bank of Ghana was awarded the best performing central bank in Africa this year by the Association of Bankers of the world.”
Nana Akufo-Addo noted that all these were the signs that his government had put solid measures in place move the country forward rapidly and that was why he was asking for four more years.
During his visit, the president on Monday, 24 February held bilateral discussions with the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, aimed at deepening the ties of co-operation between the two countries, and exploring other areas of mutual interest.
Nana Akufo-Addo also paid a courtesy call on Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway; and visited the Storting, the supreme legislature of Norway, where he was the guest of its President, Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH