President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to members of the Diplomatic Corps to help him fight corruption in his administration by reporting corrupt government appointees to his office.
“Should you, members of the Diplomatic Corps, be notified of any evidence of corruption against any of my appointees, I insist that they be shared with my office to enable action to be taken on the matter,” he said.
At the annual New-Year meeting with members of the corps here on Tuesday evening, President Akufo-Addo expressed his readiness to deal with his own officials if evidence of corruption was brought against them.
He said so far, a number of his appointees had been investigated by the state without any pressure from the executive, while others were still under investigation.
President Akufo-Addo pointed out that 21 officials of the previous administration were currently standing trial over their alleged involvement in acts of corruption or causing financial loss to the state.
On the banking sector crises, he said prosecution of persons who broke the law had commenced, adding that “the war against corruption will not be won overnight but with political will, it will be won”.
President Akufo-Addo used the occasion to celebrate some of the achievements of his administration which took over from the previous government three years ago.
He said the country had made significant strides in all sectors of the economy and had deepened its democratic credentials which reflected on its status as a country governed in accordance with respect for human rights, rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability.
“And we continued working to put Ghana on the path to progress and prosperity through the implementation of initiatives and programmes contained in the coordinated programme for economic and social development policies (2017-2024)”.
“The mandate given me by the good people of Ghana to help create a modern developed country is one I cherish, which I will continue to execute with all the vigour at my command until the end of my mandate,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said his administration had, for the past three years, been working to build a strong economy as the foundation for the accomplishment of the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
He said his government had put Ghana on the path of a prosperous future with the concrete steps taken to restore macroeconomic stability and economic growth.
“After three years of discipline and innovative economic management, the results have been remarkable. GDP growth rates of average seven per cent over the last three years, up from the three per cent of 2016, the lowest in 24 years”.
“Inflation is at 7.9 per cent down from 15.4 per cent in December 2016. Our trade balance account for the first time in more than a decade recorded a surplus in 2017, maintained it in 2018 and we expect to maintain it again this year”.
“We’ve brought the fiscal deficit down from 9.3 per cent in 2016 to 4.5 per cent currently. Interest rate have gone down from 28 per cent in December 2015 to 15 per cent now and we are working on reducing them even more to enable our businesses to be more competitive,” he said.
According to him, all the macroeconomic indices were pointing in the right direction, “and it comes as no surprise therefore that today, Ghana is the largest recipient of foreign direct investments in West Africa”.
He said his administration had cleared the GH 1.2billion debt it inherited from the previous administration on the National Health Scheme and brought its operations back to life.
He said the government had taken bold measures to sanitise the banking system and strengthened it, safeguarding the deposits of 4.6 million Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo noted that efforts had been made to sanitise the energy sector by clearing the “billions of recklessly incurred debts from the Mahama government that threatened to strangle our public finances”.
On agriculture, he said the results of the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs which was providing incentives and boosting incomes of one million farmers had been spectacular.
“We’ve had two bumper years of produce. And for the last two years we did not import unlike in previous years, a single grain of maize”.
“On the contrary, we are now a net exporter of stuffs and food prices are in their lowest in decades. Public sector employment has increased by 350,000 and additional employment in the private, formal and the agricultural sectors amounted to nearly two million.”
FROM YAW KYEI, PEDUASE LODGE