President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says giving Ghana good governance has meant that his administration has begun to fulfill the pledges made to Ghanaians, in the run up to the December 2016 elections.
According to President Akufo-Addo, over the last 11 months, the period of his government’s stay in office, “we have proven that they were not mere rhetoric or campaign talk, and neither were they meant to deceive the people of Ghana into voting for us, nor to score cheap political points.”
The President stated that the campaign pledges were made because “we believe they represent effective vehicles for the rapid development of our country. By all accounts, the fulfillment of these pledges is being felt in all parts of our country, and in your respective jurisdictions.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known yesterday when he addressed a meeting of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi.
The President told the Paramount Chiefs and Queen Mothers gathered that his government has been working on the fundamentals of the economy, and open up opportunities for all citizens.
This, he said, has resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy and the cedi, as government has moved quickly to restore fiscal discipline by passing a budget, the Asempa Budget, that will bring down the deficit, by the end of the year, to 6.3%, from 9.4% in 2016.
“The economy has responded positively to this, interest rates on the money markets have declined, the exchange rate is more stable, inflation, which stood at 15.4% in December 2016, is on the decline, and, in September 2017, stood at 12.2%, and economic growth picked up in the first half of the year, and is projected to end at 7.6%, up from the 3.6% we inherited, which was the lowest in over 20 years,” he added.
The benchmark 91-day Treasury Bill (T-bill) rate, which was 22.8 percent in January last year, has narrowed to 13.2% percent in October 2017.
An improved macro-economy, the President added, is a fundamental requirement for stimulating the investments needed for the significant expansion and growth of the national economy, and the generation of wealth and jobs.
The President added that the commencement of the Free SHS policy has guaranteed a minimum of secondary education for all of Ghana’s children; with the judicious application of the country’s resources heralding the revival of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
President Akufo-Addo added that the abolition of a number of nuisance taxes which were stifling the growth of the private sector and the creation of jobs, and the introduction of a number of policies aimed at formalising the structure of the Ghanaian economy, such as the National Identification Card; the National Digital Property Addressing System; the e-registration system to enhance business registration processes; the paperless system at the Tema port, have all been implemented.
On the creation of jobs, the President noted that he was well aware that the success or otherwise of his administration will be judged largely by job creation.
It is for this reason that his government has outlined a number of policies such as the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, 1-District-1-Factory, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP), the reintroduction of the Mass Cocoa Spraying Exercise and re-afforestation programmes, amongst others, to help create jobs for our youth.
“The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) is poised to employ some 60,000 youth. Extension officers, health professionals and teachers are now being employed again to provide much needed support for our agricultural, health and education sectors,” he added.
To the National House of Chiefs, President Akufo-Addo recalled that, in the 2016 Manifesto of the NPP, a pledge was made to increase the monthly allowances paid to chiefs, and the quarterly budgetary support to the traditional councils and houses of chiefs.
“The allowances for Paramount Chiefs and Queen Mothers of the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs have been increased by 100%, and payments by Government are up to date. As I speak, the 4th Quarter allowances are being processed. Quarterly budgetary support to traditional councils and houses of chiefs has also been increased by nearly 60%,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that “we are doing all of this because we want to build a Ghana, which looks to the use of its own resources and their proper management as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.”
Story: Political Desk