2024 SONA: Minority Leader unhappy with Akufo-Addo's silence on unemployment  

Politics 2024 SONA: Minority Leader unhappy with Akufo-Addo's silence on unemployment
FEB 27, 2024 LISTEN

Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Minority Leader, on Tuesday expressed unhappiness with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s silence on Ghana's unemployment situation during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered to Parliament.

“The unemployment situation in the country is at a critical point, yet Ghanaians did not hear a word from the President on this matter,” he said.

Dr Forson said this while seconding a motion by Mr Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, for Parliament to adjourn following the presentation of the SONA to Parliament in Accra.

Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution imposes an obligation on Members of Parliament (MPs), the Speaker and the Judiciary to receive the President’s Message on the State of the Nation.

“Mr Speaker, out of the 33 million population, only 11.3 million are employed, this number includes peasant farmers. Mr Speaker, the difference between 33 million and 11.3 million is what I call 'NINJA'; meaning; No Income, No Job, or Assets,” Dr Forson said.

“Mr Speaker, this means that two out of every three Ghanaians are unemployed. Mr Speaker, 30 per cent of our youth are jobless, and about 4.5 million employable Ghanaians plus are outside the labour force”.

He noted that the number had simply given up on their search for jobs, because of years of frustrations and disappointments.

“Mr Speaker, the state of our nation is hopeless, no wonder that ordinary Ghanaians, including professionals, are leaving our shores in droves in search of greener pastures,” the Minority Leader stated.

“Mr Speaker, I am scandalized, I am shocked to the marrow to have noticed that our President, following the recent Ministerial reshuffle, has increased the size of his government. Mr Speaker, today, we have a Minister of Finance (Domestic) and a Minister of Finance (International).”

Touching on the exchange rate, Dr Forson noted that one dollar today went for GH¢13.00 but in President John Dramani Mahama's time one dollar was GH¢3.80.

“Mr Speaker, a vote for Alhaji Bawumia is a vote for President Akufo-Addo’s third term…We know you are going; we can only wish you bye-bye. Mr President bye-bye; You'll not be missed!”