Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, has assured Ghanaians that the country would soon overcome the economic challenges facing it.
“There's light at the end of the tunnel,” he said in his remarks at the end of the debate on the Motion to thank President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the State of the Nation Address (SONA), which he presented to the House on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
“One must own up to the fact that there is some darkness now but there is light at the end of the tunnel if we hold together and not become unnecessarily partisan. The people of Ghana are watching,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated.
The debate, which lasted for six days, started on Thursday, March 9, 2023, with Mr Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader moving the Motion, which was seconded by Mr Isaac Adongo, the Deputy Ranking Member for the Finance Committee of Parliament.
Concerning the ongoing negotiations by Ghana for an economic bail out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in his contribution noted that no country engages the IMF if the country was not afflicted by economic challenges.
“Have we been reckless in borrowing and expenditure? The records do not lead to that conclusion. Could we have done better? Upon hindsight it may appear we over exaggerated our strength in a few areas,” the Majority Leader said.
“Notwithstanding, there is empirical evidence to show that this government has not underperformed. In sharp contrast with its immediate predecessor administration the government has done enormously well, notwithstanding the current hiccups.”
Supporting his submission with some facts, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the rate of economic growth had more than doubled from the average 2.8 per cent growth that President John Dramani Mahama bequeathed to his successor administration.
He noted that despite the COVID-19 and Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the country remains self-sufficient in the staples of cassava and plantain.
“We no longer import them from Cote d'lvoire. We have not imported maize for human consumption over the past three years. Rather, neighbouring countries have been buying these, especially maize, yam, and rice from Ghana,” he said.
He said the Government cleaned up the banking sector and saved depositors from the mismanagement of some deposit-taking houses, which really should not have been given licenses to operate as banks.
He said Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) gave employment to over 100,000 graduates, who otherwise would have had no employment at all.
He noted that over 1.5million people had been offered employment, most of them in the informal sector and that over 350,000 people were employed to offer services in the public space.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said Teacher Trainees’ Allowance and Nursing Trainees’ Allowance had been restored.
He said the Free Senior High School had been introduced and was still working.
Touching on the health sector, he said 307 fit-for-purpose ambulances had been procured and distributed to all constituencies, nationwide.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government had successfully introduced and implemented the digital address system.
He said the Government was innovatively implementing a paperless system in the clearing of goods at the ports and harbours thereby enhancing revenue collection at the entry points.
“Mr Speaker, this is the State of the Nation. These very few examples out of thousands of programmes and projects bear eloquent testimony about the accomplishments of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said.