He said although terrorism had become a sub-regional and global issue with terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries like the La Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, government was optimism that the security agencies were up to the task to thwart any potential terrorist attack in the country.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the media at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Wednesday, to render account of his stewardship for the first year in office.
The media encounter afforded media practitioners and senior editors the opportunity to ask the President questions ranging from the economy, anti-galamsey operations, Fulani menace, security, social services and international relations.
The encounter was the second to be organised by the Akufo-Addo led government since assuming office following a similar one in July last year.
The President said although the government inherited an economy choked with debts with the macro economy in disarray, through prudent economic management, the Economic Management Team had risen up to the challenge and instituted measures to banish the spectre of desperation and restore hope to the youth.
“Macroeconomic fundamentals have seen improvements through improved fiscal and monetary discipline,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo noted that, the real gross domestic product (GDP) had rebounded recording a growth of 9.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 as against 3.5 per cent recorded in the same period in 2016.
He said the latest inflation rate of 11.8 per cent attested to the improvement compared to15.6 per cent recorded at the end of December 2016, while the debts situation had improved.
President Akufo-Addo said the annual average rate of debt accumulation of 36 per cent in recent years had declined to about 13 per cent as at the end of September 2017.
As a result, he said, the public debt stock to the ratio of GDP is 68.3 per cent as against the annual target of 71 per cent for 2017, which is an improvement over the 2016 figure of 73. 1 per cent.
He said government had provided better budgetary support to the constitutionally mandated institutions that were supposed to hold government accountable including; the Auditor-General, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Judiciary, the Ministry Justice and Attorney General’s Department and the Economic Crime and Organised Office.
He disclosed that government had transferred GH¢.1 billion into the custodial accounts of the pension schemes of the labour unions under the Tier Two Pension funds, which had been in arrears for the past six years.
He added that, in 2017, government paid nearly one billion Ghana Cedis to road contractors, which government provided GH¢300 million, the Road Fund provided GH¢660 million of the 1.6 billion owed road contractors.
In January 2018, he said, government had disbursed GHc125 million out of the remaining 600 million to road contractors.
In addition, he said, government had paid GH¢826 million of the GH¢1.2 billion loan contracted by the previous administration which the Road Fund was used as collateral.
President Akufo-Addo added that, government had cleared most of the statutory debts, including the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the District Assembly Common Fund and the Ghana Education Trust Fund, as well as salary arrears of teachers.