The hour has come. The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is here in Parliament to carry out a constitutional obligation enshrined in Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.
In that article, he is expected to tell Ghanaians, through their parliamentarians, the state of the nation.
This will be his second address to Parliament after he won the December 2016 elections.
In the last 12 months, the power paralysis popularly called dumsor has been minimized, free Senior High School policy has been implemented, albeit with some challenges; a digital address system has been put in place with some stability in macroeconomic figures.
There have also been outbreaks of meningitis and swine flu which have claimed lives especially of school children at the SHS level. Fuel prices remain high which has triggered the very first demonstration under the new administration.
This morning the president is in Parliament to tell Ghanaians the true state of the nation.
He is welcomed to a presidential ceremony at the forecourt of the precincts of the Parliament House before being ushered onto the floor of Parliament. In Parliament are ex-presidents Rawlings, Kufuor and Mahama, and their wives and other dignitaries.
Speaker Prof Mike Ocquaye introduces the president to the dignitaries and vice versa and asks the president to begin his state of the nation address.
In a move to unsettle the president and register the protest in what they claim to be majority oppression and disrespect to Minority views, the Minority in Parliament sings the chorus contained in the country’s national anthem- "And help us to resist oppressor's rule"
We inherited a 'broke' economy choked with debt.
But a team of hardworking economists and a prudent management of the economy have led to greater macroeconomic stability
The IMF programme we entered into in 2015 as a result of the bad economic management comes to end this year.
Contrary to the expectation of sceptics and professional naysayers, the free SHS policy has been rolled out. As a result, 90,000 more students gained access to SHS 2017 than in 2016.
The fiscal deficit has been reduced from 9.6% to 5.6%. The headline-grabbing figures will not solve our problems. For the first time in a long while our macroeconomic figures are solid
The world is taking notice. The World Bank stated our economy could grow by over 8% and could
Bloomberg described Ghana’s stock exchange as the best ahead of the Nigerian, Chinese
For many who think economic figures are boring, they may well be good news.
I promised to protect the public purse that’s what I am doing with public procurement. In 2017 an amount of 800,000m cedis has been saved through better procurement processes.
In 2016, a total of 622 projects were sole sourced out of which 598 approved and 25 rejected.
A total of 592 projects came through restricted tendering with a grand total of zero savings in 2016 but in 2017 a total of 394 projects were sole-sourced. Out of that number, 256 were approved, and 141 rejected. A total of 346 came through restricted tendering out of which 179 were rejected. Through that transaction in 2017 a total of ¢800,000 was made. You cannot argue with figures.
We have cleared a substantial part of the debt and arrears choking the NHIS policy courtesy the prudent management by Minister Kweku Agyeman Manu. This has led to the revival of the NHIS. If the health needs of the people are better served and we improve the working conditions of health workers, there will be no need for them to seek greener pastures outside.
The one village one dam policy will roll out this year.100 dams will be constructed in 5 regions including Northern, Upper East and West. This is the start of big things to happen. Dams will make a big contribution towards the revival of agriculture in the country. As a result, dams abandoned will be brought back into use.
The banning of small scale mining in Ghana is by no way the solution to the problem of illegal mining popularly called galamsey. But desperate situations call for desperate remedies. We cannot look on whilst our rivers and water bodies are polluted. Even with the ban, it has not been easy fighting galamsey. We have started schemes to provide alternative jobs for those engaged in galamsey but nothing will equate the attraction for the search of gold and diamond. But we dare not preside over the raping of our water resources. I hope I can count on the total cooperation of the house to fight the menace. Chiefs must be commended and must continue to help in the fight.
Criminal activities have no political colour and the police must crack down on all such activities. As a result, an amount of 800m cedis has been made available to the police to procure critical modern policing equipment and gadget. Out of that, 1,000 motorbikes and ammunition will also be procured. This will help in the feasibility and mobility of the police to ensure safe and secure country. Drones and helicopters will also be procured as well.