President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says he would not choose the path of complaining because that is not why he was elected.
He said the “overwhelming majority of Ghanaians” who voted for him in the December 7 presidential poll did not elect him to lament about the economic situation of the country.
He told Parliament during his first State of the Nation Address Tuesday that, “I was elected to fix what is broken and my government and I are determined to do just that.”
Sector by sector, the President painted what appeared as a grim picture about the general health of Ghana’s economy.
He stated that the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government had engaged in fiscal indiscipline resulting in the ballooning of Ghana’s public debt from GHC9.5 billion in 2008 to GHC122 billion in 2016.
The President said about 99 percent of total revenue generated by the country is used to finance three items – “wages and salaries, interest payment and amortisation and statutory payments.”
“This means that anything government has to do has to be financed by borrowing,” he said.
He said the persistent borrowing by former President John Mahama-led government has closed the fiscal space and made it impossible for the aspiration of the nation to be met.
The banking sector, President Akufo-Addo said did not escape the economic decline faced by the other sectors.
He said financial data from the Central Bank shows the performance of the financial sector in the past years has not been impressive.
According to him, the cumulative underperformance of the various sectors under the previous government led to a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3.6 percent in 2016.
“This is the lowest in about 23 years,” he said.
Notwithstanding, the President said he would not allow the economy to collapse under his watch.
He said things cannot continue to remain the same way if jobs are to be created and the economic conditions in the country are to be improved.
“I am absolute that we have the programme, the competence, the commitment and the goodwill of the people to turn things round,” he said.