President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the assurance that despite the huge debt bequeathed his administration by his predecessor, John Dramani Mahama, he is on course to deliver on his promises.
According to the president, he inherited empty coffers from the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, with the national debt running around GH¢122 billion from the GH¢9 billion Kufuor's New Patriotic Party (NPP) government left for the NDC in 2009.
“I inherited a poor economy. My predecessor did not leave me much money. What he, rather, left me was a lot of debt. Nonetheless, we are beginning to turn the fortunes of our country around, and we will find the money for the construction of the stadium and the completion of the university,” President Akufo-Addo said this yesterday at a durbar held at Dormaa Ahenkro by the chiefs and people of the area on the final day of his two-day tour of the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The Omanhene of Dormaa, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyeman Badu, had requested for the construction of a sports stadium for the Brong-Ahafo Region and the completion of the University of Energy and Natural Resources at Dormaa.
The 3 Johns Visit
President Akufo-Addo dropped hint of his recent invitation extended to his three predecessors – Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama – saying that was part of his decision to be guided by public opinion, as well as to listen to Ghanaians, and accommodate various shades of opinion on national matters.
“It is for this reason that I invited my three predecessors to seek their views on certain governance and development-related issues. They accepted my invitation and gave me invaluable advice. This will not be a one-day-wonder. It will be a feature of my administration,” the president stated.
At the durbar, President Akufo-Addo also assured trainee nurses of the restoration of their allowances from September this year.
Additionally, the Free SHS policy, he added, would commence from September 2017, beginning from the students who qualify for entry in the 2017/2018 academic year.
“All the promises I made in the campaign are not just mere promises. These are pledges I will fulfill, and I assure you that under my administration, Ghana will be returned onto the path of progress and prosperity,” he confidently said.
51 Factories Ready
On the NPP's flagship programme of 'One District, One Factory,' President Akufo-Addo indicated that each of the 216 districts across the country would get a factory within the first four years of his rule in fulfillment of his campaign pledge.
According to him, the first batch of 51 districts for the implementation of the policy had been identified, and that the 'Asempa budget,' as approved by parliament, has earmarked $465 million for the setting up of 51 factories.
“All I ask for is God's wisdom, guidance and strength, and I assure you that by the end of my first term in office, each district would have a factory. Fifty-one out of 216 in my first year indicates that even before my first four years are over, each district would have its own factory,” he asserted.
President Akufo-Addo made the revelation during a courtesy call on the Omanhene of Sunyani, Nana Bosome Asor Nkrawiri II, at his palace.
The president told the chiefs in the area that the purpose of his trip to the region was to thank the people, and in particular residents of Sunyani and Dormaa for the support they gave him in the 2016 elections.
“Whether you voted for me or not, whether you supported me or not, I am going to be president for all, and I am going to work with each and every one of you. As president, I need the support of all the chiefs and traditional rulers across the country. This is the only way by which we can develop all parts of the country, and bring prosperity to all,” he said.
On the issue of galamsey, the president stated that his government had resolved to stop the menace, which is destroying lands and water bodies, stressing that “the Ghana bequeathed to us by our forebears is the same Ghana we must leave for the unborn generations.”
On the recent happenings in Kumasi involving the Delta Force, President Akufo-Addo stated that if the rule of law is to work in Ghana, then the law must be no respecter of persons, neither should it be a respecter of one's political affiliation.
“If you, as a paramount chief, flout the law, the law must deal with you,” he pointed out.