Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has described the State of the Nation Address as “very comprehensive.”
Speaking moments after President Akufo-Addo addressed the Parliament in his second State of the Nation Address on Thursday, February 8, the former President said the speech was very good and exciting.
“It was good, very good, very comprehensive,” the former NPP leader told Starr FM’s Ibrahim Alhassan Thursday.
President Akufo-Addo in his address said his government in the last one year has “reduced taxes, we are bringing down inflation and interest rates, economic growth is increasing, from the alarming 3.6% at December 2016, to 7.9% in our first year, and the indications are that it will be even better this year.
“We have increased our international reserves, maintained relative exchange rate stability, reduced the debt to GDP ratio and the rate of debt accumulation, we have paid almost half of arrears inherited, and, crucially, we are current on obligations to statutory funds.
“I am also pleased to report that the 3-year IMF-supported Extended Credit Facility Programme, begun in 2015, comes to an end this year. The relatively good macroeconomic performance in 2017 will strongly support our successful completion of the IMF programme,” President Akufo-Addo opined.
The President also revealed that government has earmarked a total of GH¢1 billion to address the urgent issues of security and sanitation in the country.
“An initial amount of GH¢800 million is being made available to procure and supply, within the next six months, critical, modern policing equipment and gadgets to enhance the capacity of the police to enforce law and order, including one thousand (1,000) vehicles, motorbikes, and ammunition. The equipment is to facilitate visibility, mobility and improved responsiveness of the police to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful economic and social environment for Ghanaians to work and thrive,” the President said.
He continued, “Already, the successful renegotiation of existing contracts has enabled us purchase, forthwith, 100 vehicles for the Police.”
Mr. Akufo-Addo also described as alarming and shocking, the revelation in the 2016 Auditor-General’s report that GHc5.4billion was approved as payment to contractors for no work done.
“The Auditor-General’s Report on MDA liabilities as of 31 December 2016, makes truly alarming reading. I make reference to the fact that a staggering amount of GH¢5.4 billion has been identified as constituting fictitious claims.
“Every day, we hear reports on our radios and televisions of dilapidated classrooms, and children who sit on floors at school…Just think of the difference that GH¢5.4 billion would make to the nation’s finances. That would certainly be enough to build and furnish hundreds of classrooms, and construct the Eastern Corridor roads…every citizen is affected by acts of corruption, and we should all work to tackle them”.