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General News of Friday, 21 February 2020

Source: Daily Guide Network

Go and register to vote - Akufo-Addo to Ghanaians

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed the need for every Ghanaian who has or will attain voting age to endeavour to register when the Electoral Commission (EC) commences the compilation of a new voters’ register for the 2020 general election.

He said it is more of a ‘civic duty’ than just a ‘mere event’ for eligible voters, as the process would enable the electorate to choose the person and persons they want to manage the affairs of the nation on their behalf.

The EC’s decision to compile a new voters’ register has incensed members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have been demonstrating against the decision, using threatening and intemperate language to dissuade the commission from going ahead with the all-important process.

All Stakeholders

The President, delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday in Parliament, Accra, said, however, that “government, together with all stakeholders, is determined to ensure that it (registration) is peaceful and orderly, so that our people can make their choice in freedom and serenity, and exercise their civic duty of helping to elect a government of their choice on 7th December.”

“We should all commit ourselves to uphold the reputation of our nation as a beacon of democracy, and we expect the media to help lead the way in that regard,” he emphasised.

Current Situation

Highlighting some of the things his government had done, President Akufo-Addo said, “We have fixed the broken economy; we have delivered Free Senior High School education; we have brought the National Health Insurance Scheme back to life; we have revamped our agriculture; we have sanitised the banking sector; our industrial transformation is on; we are digitising the economy, and Ghana continues to be at peace.”

“We have done much more than we inherited; we are creating conditions for young people to have hope again, and we are determined to do more. Things are working in Ghana, and Ghana is surely changing,” he added.

He concluded his speech with the words, “Our nation is in good health and in good, competent hands!” and it came with spontaneous applause from the audience.

Security Services

President Akufo-Addo expressed the commitment of the NPP government to improve conditions of service of all security personnel, including the police.

“The government has retooled and equipped them to keep them in the desired state of readiness,” he said.

Galamsey Menace

On the controversial illegal mining popularly called ‘galamsey’, the President said, “The Inter-Ministerial Committee, along with Operation Vanguard, was determined to disrupt ‘galamsey’ activities, by confiscating pieces of equipment that were employed in these activities. In this regard, 12,000 “changfan” machines that go on the river and scoop up the riverbed were seized and destroyed on site.”

Even though he said some excavators were also seized, he admitted to the fact that a number of them had gone missing, but said “the police have arrested and charged some of the alleged culprits, and investigations are ongoing.”

He insisted that “no one involved will be shielded, no matter what their positions or political colours are.”

Railways Dev’t

He highlighted activities in the railway industry, saying “we are making significant and verifiable progress in the railways sector” with the rehabilitation of some of the old narrow-gauge lines that have been pressed back into service.

“The Tema to Accra line has been operational for two years, and the Accra to Nsawam line would soon be. The Takoradi to Tarkwa line was inaugurated few weeks ago, and is proving to be very popular and being enthusiastically patronized,” he said.

“There are other suburban lines that will soon be brought into our everyday lives. Those are exciting, of course, but the big one remains the Tema to Ouagadougou, or, to put it less dramatically, the Accra to Paga line” and that “what started as the Tema to Paga railway line has become the Ghana to Burkina Railway Interconnectivity Project. Approximately 800 kilometres of this rail line will be in Ghana, and 200 kilometres in Burkina Faso,” he disclosed.

“Cabinet has approved the final route for this line. The approximately 100-kilometre Tema to Akwamu Mkapadan line is the first section of the Tema to Ouagadougou rail line. At the environs of Juapong, a branch line from Tema to Mpakadan will continue through Hohoe, Nkwanta, Dambai, Yendi, Tamale, Walewale, Nalerigu, Sheini, Bolgatanga and then to Paga as the remaining 700 kilometres of the Tema to Ouagadougou railway line,” he added.

Year of Roads

With the year 2020 declared as the Year of Roads, the President said the backlog of debts owed to contractors is being cleared, and many of them are able to go back to the jobs to finish them and that a list of some critical roads had been drawn up and work had started on them.

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