President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government he leads are better managers of the economy and better protectors of the public purse.
This, according to the President, is evident in the innovative policies and measures the government applied to find the required resources to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He indicated that the pandemic has exposed the need to expedite the process of moving Ghana to the situation beyond aid.
Delivering his first Message on the State of the Nation on Tuesday in Parliament after the Supreme Court unanimously upheld his presidency in the Election Petition, President Akufo-Addo indicated during his first term in office he delivered on the mandate reposed on him by the Ghanaian people.
He stated that it was not a straight-forward task but the government was able to deliver on most of its 2016 promises and thereby earning the confidence of the electorate.
According to him, in spite of the considerable challenges that confronted the government, the NPP’s record in office put it in good stead before the electorate and thereby earned a second term in office.
“It means that the reason for which the Ghanaian people went to the polls on 7th December, to seek an improvement in their living standards and the rapid transformation of the economy, must continue in earnest.”
“It means that the clarion call of “Four More for Nana and the NPP to do more for you” must be realised, and I intend to do so.”
President Akufo-Addo noted the final ruling of the Supreme Court must propel each and every Ghanaian irrespective of political affiliations to unite, and joins hands, stand should-to-shoulder and work hard to place Ghana where she deserves to be.
He warned that in the face of the global pandemic that has ravaged lives and livelihoods in all parts of the world, Ghanaians cannot afford to pursue selfish interests that will leave the nation and its citizens poorer.
The government, he said, made considerable gains in the management of the national economy with annual GDP growth of 7%, single-digit inflation, reduced fiscal deficit for three consecutive years among other favourable economic indicators before the pandemic hit the nation.
He pointed out that the cost of COVID-19 has been enormous, which compelled the government to revise the overall economic growth rate for 2020 downwards from 6.8% to 0.9%, revenue shortfall of approximately GH¢13.5 billion among others.
“The resultant fiscal deficit for 2020 was, thus, revised from 4.7% of GDP to 11.4% of GDP to reflect the impact of the pandemic.”
The government, he said, has however developed and is currently implementing the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme to transform, revitalise and modernise the economy, and return it to high and sustained growth for the next three years.
Speaking on industry, the President pledged government will continue with the agenda of rapid industrialization with the aim of transforming the structure of the Ghanaian economy from one dependent on the production and export of raw materials to a value-added industrialized economy.
“Under the “One-District-One-Factory” (1D1F) initiative, 232 projects are at various stages of implementation. These include 76 operating as 1D1F companies, whilst one hundred and twelve 112, including 5 medium size agro-processing factories, and 63 Common User Facilities are under construction,” he disclosed.
“We have also succeeded in attracting major global vehicle manufacturers, under the automotive development policy, to set up in Ghana. So far, Volkswagen has produced 1,167 vehicles, SinoTruk 276 vehicles, and our own Kantanka has produced 400 vehicles. The Japanese conglomerate, Nissan, has also started the assembly of vehicles in the country,” he added.
On the energy sector, President Akufo-Addo stated that his ambition is to increase the national electricity rate by 100% before he leaves office.
He indicated that under the National Electrification Scheme, a total of 1,436 communities have been connected to the national grid, which has increased the national electricity access rate to 85.17% as of October 2020.
The National Energy Policy, 2020, he said, has also been completed to improve the framework and strategies to meet contemporary energy needs of the country.
He noted that government has improved the financial sustainability of the energy sector through several interventions, including paying up the energy legacy debts.
President Akufo-Addo applauded the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court that confirmed his second term as President of the Republic and stated the ruling of the seven-member panel of the apex court was reasonable and excellent.
The Court, he said, has spoken and therefore it is time for Ghanaians to move on and in a united manner confront the problems of post-COVID Ghana.