President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has dismissed suggestions that his government has been reckless with borrowing and spending of same.
The government has come under criticism by the minority and some section of the general public after the public debt had ballooned to over GH¢500 billion in 2022 from GH¢122 billion in 2016 forcing the country to restructure its debt.
But in a message on the “State of the Nation” to the country on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said “the debts are an accumulation of what previous regimes have contracted and that evidence of prudent usage of same abounds.”
“Mr Speaker, let me state emphatically that we have not been reckless in borrowing and in spending. It is worth noting that the debts we are servicing were not only contracted during the period of this administration.
“Mr Speaker, we have spent money on things that are urgent, to build roads and bridges and schools, to train our young people and equip them to face a competitive world.
“Considering the amount of work that still needs to be done on the state of our roads, the bridges that have to be built, considering the number of classrooms that need to be built, the furniture and equipment needs at all stages of education, considering the number of children who should be in school and are not, considering the number of towns and villages that still do not have access to potable water, I dare say no one can suggest we have over borrowed or spent recklessly,” the president stressed.
The government, the President said has over the last six years invested in the areas of agriculture, education, health, irrigation, roads, rails, ports, airports, sea defence, digitisation, social protection programmes, industrialisation and tourism to better the living condition of the Ghanaian people.
“We can be justifiably proud of the many things we have managed to do in the past six years,” he said.
Despite the massive investments the government has made, President Akufo-Addo said many more was left to be done as many more Ghanaians clamour for roads, schools, and hospitals on his visits to the various parts of the country.
According to the President, the government had done more in the road sector than any other government since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1993.
“Mr Speaker, I am proud of the amount of work that we have done, especially in the road sector. A large amount of the monies we borrowed are for road construction. Shall we dare stop constructing roads?”
Beyond the construction of roads, the President said the administration had successfully implemented a national identification system, constructed more railways than any other government in the Fourth Republic, and established the Zongo Development Fund to address the needs of Zongo and inner-city communities.
Other areas the government has invested in, the President said, included communication, toilet facilities from 33 per cent to 59 per cent, public libraries from 61 from independence to 115, provided more equipment to security services than any other government in the Fourth Republic.
Additional areas the government invested include successful implementation of the digital address system, improved financing of governance and anti-corruption agencies, implementation of the One District, One Factory initiative, constructed more fish landing sites than any other government in the Fourth Republic, established Africa’s first national scale electronic pharmacy platform amongst others.
“Indeed, the evidence of how state funds have been used to improve our society is all over the country. No district or constituency has been left out.
“I believe there are many Ghanaians who will vehemently disagree when some say there is nothing to show for all the funds that have been at my government’s disposal,” the President said to cheers and jeers from the majority and minority sides of the House respectively.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI & JONATHAN DONKOR