President Nana Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo has described his tenure so far as successful given the promising policies he has lined up for the country, as he marks his first 100 days in office today [Monday], April 17, 2017.
President Akufo-Addo spent the weekend preceding the 100-day milestone of his administration, asking his critics to take a seat and watch him fulfill the promises he made to Ghanaians over next four years.
Addressing the chiefs and people of Kwahu on Saturday, President Akufo-Addo said, “before the elections, my opponents criticized most of my campaign promises.
They said there was no way I could achieve them, but gradually, we are getting there. As my government has promised, the free SHS is starting this September.”
The President made mention of one of his administration’s marquee promises, noting that, “as my government has promised, the free SHS is starting this September.
All fresh Senor High students will enjoy this policy till they complete school. Before my tenure ends, you will know that I have fulfilled all my promises. I cannot deceive Ghanaians. That won’t happen.”
Among other things, the Akufo-Addo administration also fulfilled the campaign promises of cutting, abolishing and reviewing a total of 15 taxes including import levies on spare parts and kayayei tolls.
The allowances of trainee teachers and nurses were restored, and peacekeeping allowances for military personnel have been increased from $31 to $35 per day.
Backlash over 110 ministers
Though the Akufo-Addo administration is only about four months into a four-year term, there have been a number of bumps it has had to contend with.
For one, President Akufo-Addo was heavily criticised when his final batch of ministerial nominations ballooned his government size to 110 ministers and their deputies He nominated 50 deputies and 4 others to serve as Ministers of State at the presidency and ministries, making his government size the highest in Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
In his defence, President Akufo-Addo said the unprecedented problems confronting Ghana demanded a large government.
He insisted that, the problems facing the country, including the decline in the agriculture sector, corruption, the low growth rate of the economy, and the revenue leaks, required bold measures to address them, hence the appointments many have described as excessive.
NPP Vigilante groups running amok
Another blotch on the Akufo-Addo administration was the perceived laxity towards handling vigilante groups, especially the ones affiliated with the New Patriotic Party.
The NPP’s election victory was followed by numerous instances of the forceful takeover of state assets and public facilities (including toilets, toll booths, school feeding programs, etc.), and the unlawful seizure of vehicles of members of the previous administration, put a dent on the hitherto smooth transition process.
Government has been criticised for not being able to deal decisively with the NPP-affiliated vigilante groups, mainly the Delta and Invincible Forces, that invaded sensitive government installations such as the passport office and Tema Ports and Harbor.
The unprecedented happened when Delta Force members arraigned for attacking Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, escaped the custody of a Circuit Court in Kumasi, after their members riled up a storm in court.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo has assured that, the rule of law will work in the country without fear or favour.
Sections of the public expressed disappointment in the President’s inability to call the pro-NPP groups to order, but he has expressed regret over the Kumasi incident and vowed that his government will not tolerate such acts.
The campaign against illegal mining was revved up in the first hundred days of the Akufo-Addo administrations with the media and civil society groups demanding a no-nonsense approach from government. Government responded by indicating that it was formulating a policy to curb illegal mining.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, on March 28, also gave a three-week ultimatum to all illegal miners to stop their activities or be prepared to face the full rigours of the law.
The President himself assured that, his remarks and intent in the fight against illegal mining were not empty promises, as his administration was going to deal with galamsey “once and for all in the history of our country.”