Accra, Feb 26, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama, on Thursday called for unity, knowledge sharing and collective efforts to ensure rapid socio-economic development of the country.
He said as a nation with different socio-political backgrounds, there were bound to be differences, but such differences should always give way to national development programmes to flourish.
President Mahama said this when he presented the State of the Nation to Parliament, as part of his mandate as head of state.
“We climb the greatest hills only to realize that there are more hills to be climbed, “President Mahama stated.
The programme attracted patrons from all the political parties, diplomatic corps, professional bodies, and security leaders, from all over the country.
Notably among the political leaders were; Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, the Chief Justice, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party’s Presidential Candidate, and his running mate, Dr Mahammudu Bawumia.
The President said the polarized discussions on radio stations and the misuse of the internet were not healthy for the development agenda of the country.
President Mahama said the energy crisis the country was experiencing with prolonged hours of darkness, was inimical to business and his administration was working around the clock to reverse the trend in the coming days.
He said the Government would step up the generation of electricity by 3,665 megawatts in the next five years, which would involve stakeholders in the private and public sectors to assuage the current power shortages.
On education, President Mahama said apart from making it accessible and affordable, the Government would also supply 10,000 made in Ghana sandals to pupils in deprived communities throughout the country.
He said work on 73 new Day senior High Schools were at various levels of construction, while 50 others would begin this year to fit into his promise to construct a total of 200 new Day Senior High Schools in his 2012 election campaign.
President Mahama said 800 orphans had so far been removed from orphanages and integrated into normal lives, while 62 orphanages had been closed down due to poor services as part of government’s Social Protection Policy.
He said the government was implementing the EBAN cards policy, for which senior citizens above 65 years would enjoy a discount of 50 per cent in transportation fare in the urban centres.
President Mahama said a total of 1,200 senior citizens had been registered under the policy, while a total of 150,000 ‘poorest households’ would also benefit from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty.
On economic transformation, President Mahama said the Government would continue to empower domestic industries to thrive and reduce importation of goods that Ghana had a comparative advantage over.
He said while the Government had supported rice production to reduce its import by 60 per cent last year, 51 million Ghana Cedis had also been given to local pharmaceutical companies to reduce its importation.
On corruption, President Mahama promised to do everything under his purview to eliminate the menace that was becoming a national canker. GNA
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