On President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s First Ever Media Encounter
Thank you Mr. President for a wonderful and an excellent statement filed yesterday, Tuesday July 18, 2017 during the first ever media encounter under your watch as the 5th President of the 4th Republic of Ghana. You were very much on point, and factually accurate with issues touched. This clearly depicts that you have a firm grip of all the fundamentals of the economy as well as everything that goes on under your watch.
It is an open secret that a cross section of the media today spews unwarranted attacks on you and your government even though the very government formed is at a tender age. The media houses in bed with the opposition-NDC have often ridiculed the size of your government and every single policy you have planned to execute. The vibrancy of the media is a source of worry to you and your appointees.
You have indeed demonstrated that, you are accommodative. This gesture from you is highly commendable. Your immense role to repeal the criminal libel law cannot be over emphasized in the political history of this noble country.
Six (6) solid months down the lane, has not been a smooth journey particularly inheriting a poor economic system handed over to you by the erstwhile NDC administration led by Mr. John Dramani Mahama and cronies. The mess inherited coupled with corruption is unbelievable.
You remarked in your first ever State of the Nation Address that, “the times in which we live demand that all of us be in a conscious hurry to deal with the problems we face”. This concise and precise statement from you meant that, there is an urgent need for all hands on deckto be in a hurry to turn the fortunes of this great nation, Ghana.
Mr. President, by 12th April, 2017 you have put your central government in place; the fastest formed government in the political history of this country under the 4th republic. By that time, you have put n place qualified, able, experience and competent men and women together to wok in hurry to advance the course of this country.
The biggest challenge faced by your government is the economy. The economic indicators at the time of taking over did not suggest a good start for the country; indeed the country was at a cross road. As we speak now the economy is gradually taking shape. The prudent economic and fiscal policy initiated by the competent Economic Management team chaired by H.E Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of the Republic.
The 2017 budget nicknamed “Asempa Budget” presented on the floor of the august house-Parliament in March, this year by the illustrious Finance Minister, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta has stood the test of time. The policy statements and measures outlined in the budget is the reason for the economic stability and buoyancy of this great nation.
The budget which symbolizes hope clearly announced the restoration of the nurses and teachers trainee allowance which was abolished by the previous administration which lost control of the country. The budget also abolished obnoxious taxes so as to shift attention from taxation to production to create jobs and expand the economy. These are fantastic measures.
The microeconomic indices are showing positive results. The Monetary Policy Rate as left by the NDC at 25.5% is not cut down to 22.5% in the first half of the year. Inflation is now 12.1% in June showing a further reduction from 15.4% as at December 2016. It is the hope of many that the figures will soon translate into tangible benefits in the lives of Ghanaians to enable a greater majority of them to grow their businesses, live meaningfully and be able to tap employment opportunities.
On the issue of jobs, the president stated emphatically that, as part of his government‘s plan to create jobs for the teeming majority of unemployed graduates and all classes of the unemployed, he launched the National Entrepreneurship and Innovative Plan (NEIP) which is under the Business Development Ministry to provide startup capital to grow businesses.
In view of this laudable initiative, government has committed $10 million of state funds to leverage into $100 million from private sources to support the initiative. This and other initiatives by the President to grow private businesses is highly commendable.
Also, the one district, one dam for the three Northern Regions is in the process to take off smoothly as part of the planting for food and jobs concept backed by the President.
The one district, one factory as hinted in the 2017 Asempa budget on the verge of succeeding. Government has committed $ 100million from state funds to support the initiative. An additional amount of $340 million has been leverage from local financial institutions to support the excellent initiative. The massive financial support from the local financial institutions clearly show the confidence repose in the NPP government.
I have strong conviction that the President and the NPP party are poised to turn the fortunes of this noble country around to create a paradise in Ghana as promised.