Member of Parliament (MP) for Ahanta West, Hon Ebenezer Kojo Kum, has stated that the economic strides made over the past twelve months under the governance of President Nana Akufo Addo indicated the government is on course to turn around the fortunes of a distressed economy inherited from the Mahama administration.
According to him, having taken over an economy with weak macroeconomic fundamentals, the New Patriotic (NPP) government had to find innovative ways of doing things to ensure they got positive results.
Hon Kum made these remarks in reaction to the Minority claims that, the President has not told Ghanaians the real state of the economy when he address parliament on the state in Accra last Thursday.
He told THE REPUBLIC that, judging from where the NPP took over governance in 2017 and the state of the economy now, the President is delivering and lauded the government Economic Management team led-by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
In the view of Hon Kum, all indicators of the economy signals stability as the President assured the nation in his address to the nation in parliament.
For instance he said, the President was able to tell Ghanaians how his government is managing and profiling some of the debts inherited from the previous government.
In the SONA, the President said, “In 2017, nearly GH¢1billion (GOG – GH¢300.4million; Road Fund- GH¢664 million) of the GH¢1.6 billion owed to road contractors was cleared. In January this year, we have disbursed GH¢125million out of the remainder of GH¢600million to the contractors.”
Additionally, the President stated, government has paid GH¢826million of the GH¢1.2billion loan contracted by the previous administration, for which the Road Fund was used as collateral.
“It is important to note that all these debts were accrued under the previous administration. I will also point out that much of the statutory arrears that we met have been cleared; that is, debts to the NHIS, the District Assembly Common Fund, and the GETFund,” he stated.
Government, President Akufo Addo said, has put in place a regime which is to pay government bills as they come due, and not accrue arrears.
“We are resisting the temptation to award contracts when funds are not available to pay for the certificates as they come up. Those who conduct business with government will find that things are being done differently.
“We have had to subject GH¢11billion of arrears, bequeathed to us in 2017, to a process of audit review and validation. The audit service has certified payments to the tune of GH¢5.5billion, and rejected about GH¢5.7billion cedis – representing a potential savings of 51% on these outstanding commitments,” the President concluded.
This, Mr Kum said the President SONA message was satisfactory and concise to the issues in the country and that most of the things the President mentioned are those that could be physically seen by Ghanaians.
“For me I think the President was very clear and concise. He informed us of the real state of the nation and how he intend to do in the next three year.
“He was able to tell us how he is equipping the security services to fight crime and ensure security. People say there is insecurity, but I think we are not there yet. So far Ghanaians are able to go to their normal duties and sleep everyday without any disturbance there is nothing like insecurity.I am sure if there was insecurity in the country, the President would have declare state of emergency, but we are not there yet and we don’t anticipate something like that,” Hon Kum opined.
The MP further stated that, the President was also explicit on the state of the nation on health, roads, transport, sanitation, unemployment and education, adding that the president made the people of Ghana know the state of the flagship programme, the Free Senior High School.
He pointed out that, the President was transparent when he made it known how many children are currently benefiting from the free SHS, stating that, ” the over 90,000 children who are benefiting the Free SHS is a plus to the president.”
In his considered opinion, Ghanaians need to rally behind the President and those who criticize must give constructive criticism so the President could take meaningful decisions.
The President’s state of the nation address was in fulfillment of Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Sported in a blue black suit, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, delivered his second State of the Nation Address to Parliament, in Accra.
At the end of the more than one hour delivery, the President, bespectacled, gave hope to the nation by saying: “our nation is on the right path; we’ll be a Ghana beyond aid.
Sources:therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba