Young people must have hope again – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday said his Administration had done more than it inherited and created conditions for the youth of Ghana to thrive.
He said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) fixed the economy of Ghana, improved on social intervention programmes, and was giving hope again to the citizens and determined to do more.
“We have done just that, we have fixed the broken economy, delivered free senior high school education. Brought the National Insurance Scheme back to life. We have revamped our Agriculture, we have sanitised the banking sector, our industrial transformation is on, we are digitising the economy and Ghana continues to be a peace,” President Akufo-Addo said in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament in Accra.
He added: “We have done more than we inherited. We have created conditions for young people to have hope again and we are determined to do more.”
The 2020 SONA, the last of the first term of the Akufo-Addo Administration before the nation goes for general election in December 2020, is in fulfilment of a constitutional requirement that enjoins the President to give account of his stewardship in the past year, and to tell the nation what plans he has for in the next year.
The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) staged a walkout from the parliamentary chamber after the President entered and was about to deliver the SONA.
They later at a News conference accused the government of what it called “authoritarian tendencies”, citing the lack of action by the Government on the Emile Short Commission Report on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by -election violence, closure of some radio stations and the compilation of a new voters’ register against public outcry among several concerns.
However, President Akufo-Addoo went ahead and addressed the House, filled with only the Majority, some of whose members left their seats and occupied the seats abandoned by the Minority.
President Akufo-Addo renewed his pledge to fight corruption, and cautioned both his Side of the House and Minority that no one would be spared in his fight against corruption.
However taking action against corruption would be evidence-based.
“I would like to repeat that if evidence of corruption is presented, no one will be spared regardless of your position or political affiliation. No one is above the law,” he said, adding “that is the true meaning of equality before the law.
“My government will also ensure that all those who are before the court will be prosecuted.”
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that the fight against illegal mining was not over as the campaign was not against mining itself because it would be unrealistic to suggest that there should be no mining in Ghana.
“Our battle was not against mining itself.
“However, taking the minerals out should not lead to the pollution of our water bodies and the destruction of our forests.”
On the collapse of some banks, the President gave thumbs up for closing those financial institutions, explaining that the Government took the right decision as his Administration salvaged “collapsing financial sector.”
He gave an assurance and caution that people who contributed to the collapse of the financial institutions” would be made to account for their actions.
Government, through the Central Bank, within the past two years collapsed a number of financial institutions as part of measures to cleanse the banking sector to make it more robust.
Some banks had their licenses revoked and others merged for their inability to raise the new GH¢400 million minimum capital requirement as of December 31, 2018.
The President advised on dietary habits and nutrition. “The foods we eat, our mode of cooking and lack of exercise are all having a great impact on our health,” he said, and advised against being overweight.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said the year 2020 would bring about the success of roads construction.
He entreated eligible Ghanaians to register when the new Voters’ Register opens.