President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took the sacred oath on January 7 to defend the Constitution of the country and to create prosperity for all Ghanaians.
He promised a new chapter in the way things are done in the country. But four months into his four year term, Akufo-Addo Tracker asks if the President has contributed to the mess in the country or he has helped to improve them.
Views solicited from some Ghanaians point to an unprecedented reserve of goodwill for the President. His rating since assuming the rein of power has been high, beating former leader of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) former President John Agyekum Kufuor by 15 percentage points.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with some Muslim leaders
The former President garnered 65 percent rating when he won the 2000 elections after defeating late President John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
However, there is general discontent with President Akufo-Addo’s handling of some pockets of attacks and mayhem unleashed on innocent Ghanaians by pro-NPP vigilante groups. The Invincible and Delta Forces have woven a string of attacks on their opponents and their own party members.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Akufo-Addo Tracker focuses on the performance of the government in the economy, education, health, and security.
The economy has not seen significant improvement despite some structural changes made by the new government. Some "nuisance" taxes introduced by the previous NDC government have been abolished while others have been reviewed. They include 17.5 percent VAT put on domestic airfare, 17.5 VAT on financial sevices, 17.5% VAT on selected imported medicines, 17.5 VAT on domestic airline tickets, 5% VAT on real estates, excise duty on petroleum and reduce special petroluem tax rate from 17.5% to 15%.
Government has said its one-district-one-factory policy has attracted investors from Turkey who have arrived in the country pledging to build 1,000 factories to kick start the project. Also, goverment has slashed fertilizer prices by 50 percent. UREA in 2016 sold at GHC47 now it is being sold at GHC15 – NPK sold at GHC85 a bag in 2016 but now selling at GHC57.50.
The National Identification System aimed at formalising the economy by using a national database that would be generated by the NIA as primary identifier.
The free senior high school (SHS) promise made by the NPP in its 2016 manifesto has been earmarked to commence in September. This includes, no library fees, no admission fees, no tuition fees, free meal for day students, free boarding, free meals, free textbooks, no computer lab fees, and no science centre fees.
The Teacher trainee allowance that was cancelled by the NDC government has been restored as promised by then NPP Presidential Candidate and now President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
On the issue of health, clearance has been given for 11,000 Graduate Health Trainees. These are nurses who have been home since completing training between 2012 and 2016. Also, the nursing trainees allowance has been restored giving hope to hitherto disenchanted nurses.
However, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is owing service providers to the tune of GHC1.2 billion, a development that is suffocating the clinics and hospitals in the country. There is every indication that the Health Minister, Kwaku Manu Agyemang has been unable to surmount the challenges. He has not suggested any vibrant solutions to clearing the debt.
Security is one area the President has proven himself not up to the task. Since he was declared winner of the 2016 Presidential poll, hoodlums of the NPP have subjected the country in what has been termed "domestic terrorism." From the attack on the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) to the attack on Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei right to the attack on the Kumasi Circuit court, the NPP miscreants have made the government unpopular.
Notwithstanding, the government has initiated a legislative review of the Armed Forces (Amendment) Regulations of 1986 (LI1332) that will extend the serving duration of “Other Ranks” from the current 25 years to 30 years.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here are the Author's and do not necessarily reflect the position of management of Multimedia or Myjoyonline.com. The writer Austin Brakopowers works as a journalist at Joy99.7FM and could be reached via Brakomen@outlook.com or www.brakopowers.com