General News of Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
President John Dramani Mahama is expected to use his State of the Nation Address to project the country’s development agenda in spite of the challenges.
The president, according to a source at the Flagstaff House, will use the platform to spell out the achievements of the government so far and the plans for the future.
“In education, health, job creation and agriculture among other sectors, the Mahama administration had posted some significant successes,” the source said.
However, the power crisis is likely to occupy the centre stage of the address where he would try to rekindle the hopes of Ghanaians of better days ahead.
The source expressed a strong belief that the President would be candid with Ghanaians and explain what had been done in the power sector since he took office, against the demand and the supply scenario.
In what is anticipated to be a turbulent period inside the Chamber with the majority and the minority at each other’s throat, President Mahama would try to give hope to the generality of the populace by telling Ghanaians that the erratic power supply cannot be an unending challenge.
Consistently, the President has admitted how the energy challenge is having a biting effect on the Ghanaian people and has appealed to the people to exercise patience as the government moves to fix it permanently.
“So you can expect that in Parliament tomorrow, the President will move to re-invigorate and restore feelings of hope among the people.
“The address will spell out the initiatives being taken to address the energy challenges from the short- term to the long-term.
“As honest as he is, President Mahama will not run away from the difficulties the power challenges have brought on the people.
“Equally, he will tell the people the steps that are being taken to solve the problem once and for all,” the source said.
Typical of State of the Nation addresses, other areas of national priorities would be covered and these would include job creation, education, economy and health.
President Mahama will be expected to explain how various interventions are working to reduce unemployment.
The various investments in the economy were supposed to be translated into job opportunities and giving an insight into that would not be out of place.
He is likely to talk about the Youth Enterprise Support ( YES) programme, which was launched last year, and tell the people how it is being positioned to empower the youth.
The government’s vision of education has been all-embracing.
Tomorrow, when he takes the podium, President Mahama would likely touch on access, improvement in quality and affordability by way of the free Senior High School policy, which takes off in the next academic year.
Programmes to improve the capacity of teachers, and educational supplies like free school uniforms, textbooks and exercise books are expected to be mentioned.
In tertiary education, research and plans to turn the polytechnics into technical universities would surely come up.
The economy would still be an issue for the President.
The source said, although the energy crisis appeared to have drowned matters of the economy, that crucial sector – economy – will not escape the attention of the President.
In that context, expect the President to tell Parliament and the Ghanaian people how far the discussions on the IMF programme had gone.
Besides, he is also likely to explain how the home grown measures have changed the fortunes of the economy even as the nation awaits the IMF programme.
Another topic on the economy likely to receive the President’s attention is fiscal discipline as well as efforts by the government to protect the public purse.