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Parliament approves State of the Nation Address

PARLIAMENT has approved the account of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the true State of the Nation after a week of debating the contents therein. 

The approval was preceded by a heated debate between the Majority and Minority leaders, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu respectively.

President Akufo-Addo in line with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution addressed the MPs on the State of the Nation in Parliament declaring that the country was in “good health.”

Taking his turn at the table, Haruna Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South said the President was selective in what to report to Parliament.

According to Haruna Iddrisu, the primary role of the President and his government was public safety and security which have been compromised under the watch of the New Patriotic Party government. 

“I am not satisfied at all with the steps the President is taking to manage the process of guaranteeing security particularly the conspicuously loss in his speech reference to the murder of Ahmed Hussein-Suale…..and the kidnapping of the Takoradi girls,” Haruna Iddrisu stated. 

On the economy, Mr Iddrisu said the claim by the NPP that it was a better manager of the economy was a facade because the opposition National Democratic Congress had demonstrated superior economic management acumen than the NPP. 

In the view of Mr Iddrisu, the President’s promised flagship programmes like the One District One Factory, One Constituency One Million dollars, One Village One Dam have all been failures more than two years into the four-year mandate of the government. 

He said despite a commitment in the run up to the 2016 polls not to borrow, the government had done the contrary by increasing the country’s debt stock from GH¢120 billion to GH¢170 billion. 

In view of the “huge borrowing,” Haruna Iddrisu said the government had nothing to show unlike the just past NDC administration where there was massive investment in health, education, roads and other areas of the economy. 

He alleged that the government had maintained a lower budget deficit because it had refused to pay outstanding, challenging the President to come clear on where the government was going to raise the US$1 billion to undertake housing projects when the budget had no provision for that.

But in response, Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said his colleague leader was being untruthful because “things are getting better for the Lord is good.”

On security, in relation to the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, the Suame MP said no President has been ever committed to ending political thuggery in the country by setting up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate election related violence despite clashes in Atiwa, Akwatia, Chreponi and Talensi. 

The outgone NDC administration, Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said presided over the worse economic performance in 22 years by posting a 3.4 per cent growth in 2016 which had jumped to eight per cent in 2017 and projected to grow by seven and six in 2018 and 2019. 

Apart from the positive growth recorded, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said interest rate, inflation, debt to GDP among other macroeconomic indicators which were making living difficult for the citizenry were on the decline underscoring the competence of the Akufo-Addo led government. 

He said whiles the NDC posted negative growth for industry, agriculture, livestock, services, forestry, fisheries among other indicators, the outlook for all the above were now on the positive and expected to grow further as the years wear on. 

The Majority Leader revealed that since coming into office, the government had created 400,000 jobs in fulfillment of its campaign promise and, increased pension to better compensate the county’s retirees. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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