President Nana Akufo-Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo will today deliver his historic and maiden State of the Nation address in parliament.
It is an address every Ghanaian is looking up to, irrespective of his or her political persuasion.
It will also be the first State of the Nation address in the seventh parliament where the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has an overwhelming majority.
Last Friday in parliament, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, appealed to all members to attend today’s sitting to listen to the president.
A visit to the premises of parliament yesterday saw vigorous preparations by staff and State Protocol Department towards today’s event, with all the major television stations fighting for space to fix their outside broadcasting equipment for live broadcast of the address.
Expectations are high on both sides of the political divide regarding the content of the message that would be delivered by President Akufo-Addo.
New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, yesterday told DAILY GUIDE that he would be expecting President Nana Akufo-Addo to be frank and tell Ghanaians the true debt portfolio of the country and the actual debt bequeathed to his government by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
He said it would be very important for the president to tell Ghanaians all the aggregate of debts from the various sectors of the economy since a lot of revelations have come to the fore regarding the actual debts incurred by the past government, which were not made public.
“I will also like to hear how the president would be funding his free secondary school education since it is a very good policy, and the fact that a lot of hullabaloo has arisen on the source of funding for this forward-looking policy,” he said, adding that many Ghanaians would like to know how employment avenues would be created to give hope to the teeming unemployed in the country.
“I think it would be ideal for the President to also tell the nation how the ‘dumsor’ situation created by the past government would be resolved under his presidency,” he suggested.
On the contrary, the NDC MP for Banda and First Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, said that he expects the president to tell the nation that former President John Mahama left a strong economy for him.
He said, “It is because the economy is fundamentally strong that President Akufo-Addo has promised to allocate some financial resources for the payment of the allowances of teacher trainees and nursing students which would be captured in his first budget.”
He stressed that President Akufo-Addo must not start with any kind of propaganda to make the past NDC government look bad.
“An Economic Intelligence report says the economy now is very strong and this had been reinforced by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who is on record to have said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong,” Ahmed Ibrahim averred.
He also said that he would expect President Akufo-Addo to give firm assurance that his government will complete all infrastructural projects started by the erstwhile NDC government.
He pointed out that as members of the minority, when the debate on the president’s address starts in parliament possibly on Thursday, they would really subject it to proper scrutiny.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr