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08.02.2006 Politics

President's State of Nation Address is one of optimism - Akomea

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Accra, Feb 08, GNA - Nana Akomea, NPP-Okaikwei South, on Wednesday said the President's State of the Nation Address was truly good and generally one of optimism.

He said the President envisaged a GDP of eight per cent growth to enable the country reach a middle-income status by the year 2015, which is achievable.

He said 2005 recorded an estimated growth of about six per cent, which is a very convincing and positive trend and that since 2001 the growth of the economy has been continuously rising.

Nana Akomea said this when moving a motion to thank the President for the message on the State of the Nation.

He said the President mentioned VALCO's potential, which is very tremendous and with the Gas Pipe Line Project in progress, the two would help lift the economy of the country higher to enable it achieve eight per growth.

Ms Josephine Addoh, NPP MP Kwadaso, commended the President for focusing on the maintenance of public property.

She said there was a need for Ghanaians to appreciate the values in good maintenance culture is highly commendable.

In this direction, the government is taking steps to rehabilitate the Ambassador Hotel in Accra, City Hotel in Kumasi, the Peduase Lodge and the Flag Staff House, which have been left to deteriorate for a long time.

Ms Addoh said structures in ministries, departments, hospitals and schools throughout the country have been neglected for a long time, adding that; "In some cases a complete facelift is needed." On forestation, the member said the government had led the way in re-greening with over 150,000 people gaining employment.

She said the threat of desertification in the north calls for intensification of reforestation of all degraded lands.

"How many children are dropping out of school because they have to travel long distances to fetch water and firewood. How many people are living the harsh environment up country trouping down south in such nonexistent jobs?"

Ms Addoh said the President had shown the way, "we should therefore come together and work to propel this nation forward."

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, NDC-Tamale South, described the President's address as unimpressive and incomplete and that the President did not touch on the issues such as the security situation in the north and also did not mention anything on forestry and mining.

He said he had expected the President to talk on mining because of the recent clashes in the mining areas but he did not but rather went on to say that the state of the nation was good.

Mr Iddrisu said the President's view on the VALCO holds the key to the rapid development of the economy was debatable since currently VALCO is operating on only two out of five pot lines and its their staff had been reduced by about 50 per cent.

He also disagreed with the President's suggestion that the media should report corrupt officials to the police. Emmanuel Bandua, NDC-Biakoye, said the money to be used for the rehabilitation of the Peduase Lodge and the building of Presidential Palace was too much.

He said 150 billion cedis for Peduase Lodge and the 30 million dollars earmarked for the Presidential Palace would have gone a long way in solving some of the socio-economic problem of the people. Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, NDC-Ada, said the President vision of developing Ghana would not materialise unless he pays maximum attention to the administration of the various districts.

He said in the Dangbe District for instance, there is no District Chief Executive and this makes the administration and development of the district very difficult. The member said now that government appointees have been withdrawn from the assembly, the district finds it very difficult to consider issues of urgency. 08 Feb. 06