General News of Thursday, 8 February 2018
President Nana Akufo-Addo will later this morning deliver his second State of the Nation address to Parliament.
The address is an obligation which enjoins the President to account to the nation through Parliament at least once a year, in line with Article 67 of the constitution.
President Akufo-Addo is therefore expected to account for his stewardship over the last one year.
In general, the President’s address is expected to be heavy on the economy, spelling out how policies he initiated over the last year are likely to impact the living conditions of Ghanaians.
Sectors such as education, agriculture, health and the economy in general, are expected to feature prominently.
He is also likely to put out some figures of jobs created in the last year.
His address in 2017 highlighted some of the perceived failings of the Mahama administration his government had to deal with, and also outlined some of the key policies he intended to execute.
The President noted that, the previous government missed almost all the International Monetary Fund targets, whilst leaving the country with a debt stock of GHc122 billion, including a $2.4 billion debt in the power sector.
President Akufo-Addo also held that, Ghana’s economy was in a dire state because the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government had left the country with a GDP rate of 3.6%, which was the lowest the country had recorded in the past two decades.
The government expects the GDP rate for 2017 to rise to around 6.3 percent in 2017.
Among the government key interventions he outlined were the Free Senior High School policy, the restoration of teacher trainee allowances, restoration of nurse trainee allowances, the review some taxes and levies, and also the review of some power agreements to protect the public purse.
Among some of the key targets met, the Akufo-Addo administration was able to roll out the Free Senior High School policy, restored both teacher and nurse trainee allowances, and ensured the review of electricity tariffs.
The President’s address will come amid the protests against the rise in fuel prices, which the government had promised to address in its bid for power in 2016.
Some commercial drivers and consumers of petroleum products converged on the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra on Wednesday to protest.
The demonstration, organized by the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) in collaboration with the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), highlighted what were described as broken promises, with respect to the reduction of the prices of petroleum products.
The country’s security situation has also been noted precarious by some observers following attacks on police stations and the continued instances of political vigilantism that persisted throughout 2017.
The President was compelled to Upper West Regional Minister Sulemana Alhassan over reports he obstructed the course of justice after some NPP youth are said to have besieged the besieged the Upper West Regional office of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and assaulted the Regional Director’s aid.
The Regional Minister is said to have ordered the release of some suspects that were arrested.
2017 also saw more brazen attacks by robbers, including the most recent killing of a police offcer at the Kwabenya Police station during a jail break.