Business News of Sunday, 2 July 2017
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the rapid economic development being anticipated from the policies put in place by his government will automatically translate into more satisfactory pension arrangements for the elderly.
To this end, President Akufo-Addo has revealed that “the Ministry of Finance, despite our short period in office, is already working on procedures to streamline and improve the administration of pensions. Those procedures will be made public in the very near future.”
Again, the President added that measures are being put in place to address the needs of key demographic segments of our society.
These measures, he said, are ”specifically to set up pension arrangements for farmers in our major cash crop agricultural sectors like cocoa, coffee, sheanuts, palm oil, pineapple and cashew nuts; and for members of small scale business associations, like umbrella organizations such as GPRTU/PROTOA and Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), and similar associations across the country.”
Government, he added further, also remains committed to providing the aged with a Freedom Pass to enable them ride for free on all public transportation.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, 1st July, 2017, at a lunch held for senior citizens at the Banquet Hall of the State House, to commemorate 57 years since Ghana became a Republic.
In constructing his vision of a “Ghana beyond Aid”, the President assured that “we shall continue to recognise and honour the sacrifices and inputs made to the growth and development of our nation by all of you gathered here this afternoon.”
With the country having some way to go in how it treats its older citizens, President Akufo-Addo stated that it is for this reason that the 2016 Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party, pledged to develop and implement policies for the aged, and mainstream aging issues into the framework and strategy of national development.
Government, the President assured, “is committed to the realisation of this, and is rolling out programmes and initiatives geared to this end.”
President Akufo-Addo was grateful for to the senior citizens, both present and absent from the ceremony for the considerable contributions to the building of modern Ghana in all fields of endeavour.
“Our nation remains indebted to you. Your names should be enshrined in letters of gold in our history, because you have helped enhance the image of our country,” he added
Conditions of freedom and democracy
After sustained periods of authoritarian rule, punctuated by short bursts of unsuccessful democratic governance, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Ghanaian people, just as they had demonstrated in the drive towards independence in the 1940s and 1950s, showed again their determination to live in conditions of freedom and democracy.
“On 28th April, 1992, they approved, by an overwhelming margin in a Referendum of that day, the adoption of the provisions of the Constitution of the 4th Republic, which set up the institutions of a liberal democratic state, operating on the basis of the separation of powers, with express guarantees of fundamental human rights,” he said.
The President continued, “We can all say, without any equivocation, that the 4th Republic has seen the longest period of stable constitutional governance in our history, and the benefits are showing. We have experienced in this era sustained economic growth; freedom of speech is now taken for granted; Parliament is making a good fist of exercising its oversight duties; and the Judiciary continues to demonstrate its independence.”
Nonetheless, President Akufo-Addo stated that the country continues to suffer important institutional and other deficits, such as widespread unemployment, corruption in the Executive and in the Judiciary, lack of authority of Parliament over public finances, and the lack the full logistical complement and personnel for the security services to provide adequate and effective safeguard for the nation’s stability and security.
“There is, however, far more self-confidence among Ghanaians today, than there has been since the very early days of self-government. Freedom and the spread of democratic values are strengthening the determination of Ghanaians to build a new Ghana, that is neither pawn nor victim of the world economic order,” he added.