General News of Wednesday, 9 August 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says despite inheriting huge debts from the past administration, his government has put in place many measures to create jobs and drive development within the last six months.
Addressing a durbar of chiefs and residents of Tarkwa in the Western Region yesterday, the president said critics of his government speak as though he has been in power for more than five years.
“We’ve been here for six months…we didn’t meet money in the coffers. We met debt and debts,” the president said.
But, he said, he was not the type of leader to run away from challenges.
“I am not afraid of debt [because] if you have good plans and the men, debts can become opportunities for money making,” he said in Twi.
The president made public the debts former President John Dramani Mahama’s government left behind since he was sworn-in in January this year.
President Akufo-Addo told lawmakers in February 2017 that the previous administration left behind an estimated GHS122 billion debt.
“As of the beginning of 2009, Ghana’s total debt stock was GHS9.5 billion [but] by the end of 2016, the debt had ballooned to GHS122 billion,” he said.
Although the debt situation could derail his government’s many “ambitious projects” to develop the country, the president said he was committed to his 2016 campaign promises.
President Akufo-Addo said the free senior high school programme will start in September 2017 as scheduled.
He said he was insulted when he talked about the free SHS with critics suggesting it was for votes.
He was quick to add that God is not asleep, adding that his promises were made from a clean heart.