President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has congratulated Ghanaians for giving him a clear mandate to govern the state for four more years.
He said the citizenry gave him another term and the opportunity to complete unfinished tasks, consolidate some of the far-reaching measures the government has introduced, and also initiate further changes and adjustments to policies and practices.
According to him, it is his firm and passionate view to only be President in a fairly conducted election and indicated the election of 7th December 2020 has established that.
Delivering his final message on the State of the Nation in his first term in office to Parliament yesterday, President Akufo-Addo averred that the Constitution demands that government goes to the people after four years to ask for a mandate hence the need to listen to the voice of the people.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the decision by his main opponent in the election, John Dramani Mahama, to go to the Supreme Court to seek its intervention and to grant reliefs that he believes were comprised in the conduct of the elections.
“It is good for the nation that in the end, he chose the legal path instead of the pockets of violence that have attended the rejection of the results by his party in the period after the elections.
“We all have to make a deliberate decision to invest in the rule of law and uphold the integrity of the institutions of state so that no person or group of persons take the law into their own hands with impunity”, President Akufo-Addo stated.
President Akufo-Addo noted that on 7th December 2016, the good people of Ghana honoured him at the polls by voting him and the NPP into office with a clear and unequivocal mandate.
He said his party had presented to Ghanaians during the campaign, a clear plan of how it intended to grow and transforms the economy.
“Mr. Speaker, we thought we knew that we would face a difficult situation but when we took a good look, we were still taken aback by the state of the economy we inherited – an economy with severe macroeconomic instability, weak growth, a troubling financial sector, low investor confidence, and significant structural bottlenecks.
“The basic facts of our unhappy inheritance are well-documented – 15.4% rate of inflation; a 9.3% fiscal deficit; 32% rate of interest; a 3.4% rate of GDP growth, the lowest in two decades – all under an IMF-sponsored bailout programme.
“We set to work quickly, and, I am glad to say that we have been able to stabilize the economy, exit satisfactorily the IMF programme, and restore confidence in the economy,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that at the end of 2019, the economy was characterized by strong growth in response to the implementation of government flagship programmes, single-digit inflation, reduced fiscal deficits with three consecutive years of primary surpluses, relatively stable exchange rate, significant improvement in the current account with three consecutive years of trade surpluses, strong foreign exchange reserve buffers, and markedly reduced lending rates.
He noted that the global pandemic of COVID-19 threatened to derail the progress over the past three years of the NPP administration with its impact leading to the revision in GDP growth for 2020 from 6.8% to 0.9% and later to 1.9% to reflect the significant slowdown in economic activities as a consequence of the effects of COVID-19 on lives and livelihood.
The proactive decisions taken by the government to fight the pandemic, he said, revitalized and transformed the economy with the GH¢1 billion Ghana Cares ‘Obaatampa’ Programme thereby anchoring on the bright prospects for the mid-term.
He pledged that having been retained in office for four more years, the government will continue to implement prudent measures to quicken the pace of fiscal consolidation.
He disclosed that in March this year, the Minister of Finance will visit Parliament to provide further details on the measures to be taken to restore the country back to the path of economic recovery.