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General News of Monday, 13 January 2020


Nana Addo has kept faith with the people - Bawumia

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The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has kept faith with the people of Ghana by delivering on many of his electoral promises after three years in office.

Addressing a group of Ghanaians in Dallas, United States over the weekend, the Vice President said President Akufo-Addo was so keen on delivering on his promises to the people of Ghana that even before he officially assumed office after the election, he set out to track every promise he had made.

"After we won the election and when we knew we were coming into government, one of the first things the President asked me to do was to make sure we track all our promises," the Vice President revealed.

"So we put a dashboard together and listed all our promises and then had to track them from day one. We put together this dashboard before January 7th, 2017. “

Dr Bawumia added that in President Akufo-Addo’s quest to fulfil his promises, his government has, since coming into office in 2017, meticulously implemented projects which are in line with his promises.

"From day one, if you observe the policies we have been implementing, you will see that they are very much aligned with all our promises in the 2016 manifesto. And we have continued tracking these policies on the dashboard and reporting to cabinet on it" Dr Bawumia said.

The Vice President told the gathering that after three years in office, incontrovertible data available shows the government has achieved at least 72% of its promises (and this likely to be higher when the latest assessment of the dashboard is undertaken at the end of January)to the people in the areas of economic stability, industrialisation, agriculture, infrastructure development, fighting corruption, job creation and social interventions to alleviate the suffering of the people.

Staunchly defending the record of the government in three years, Dr Bawumia listed a number of projects, policies and economic indicators to buttress his point on the achievements of President Akufo-Addo.

On the management of the economy, Dr Bawumia provided data which indicated significant progress in industrial growth, budget deficit, inflation, interest rate, external payment, as well as a drop in the annual average and annual depreciation rate of the Cedi.

On the industrial growth, Dr Bawumia indicated that from the -5% growth rate the NPP government inherited from the NDC in 2016, the growth rate has increased to 16.7%, with over 50 factories built under 1 District 1 Factory and 50 more expected by the end of this year.

On the control of budget deficit, the Vice President said the NPP government has been disciplined in maintaining budget deficit below 5% for two successive years.

"The deficit has come down and we have implemented a law on our own to restrict the budget deficit to not be more than 5% of GDP in any year (including election year)"

"This is the first time in the history of the country that any government has tied its own hands to say, to keep the economy stable, you should not overspend."

On inflation, the Vice President revealed that due to prudent economic management, it had dropped from 15.4% in 2016 to 7.9%.

"It has been in single-digit since April 2018. That is for the last 20 months and inflation today is the lowest it has been since 1992 and that is real change," the Vice President added.

Bank lending rates have also fallen from 31.7% to 24%.

On external payments, the Vice President revealed that Ghana's position has strengthened.

"For the first time in 20 years, the difference between what we've exported and what we've imported has recorded a surplus for two consecutive years running.
"We are now exporting more than we are importing and that is a major turn around. There is a huge change that is taking place and because of that our foreign exchange reserves have increased significantly from $6.1bn in 2016 to $8.2bn in 2019.

The Vice President also touched on the exchange rate, reiterating that the current annual average rate of depreciation of the cedi is the 2nd best in the 4th Republic. The average annual depreciation of the cedi between 2013 and 2016 was 18% compared to the average annual depreciation of 8.7% between 2017 and 2019.

"Generally speaking, we have restored macroeconomic stability. But we know that you have to move beyond macroeconomic stability. We said we will stabilize the economy but also reduce the suffering of our people," said Dr Bawumia.

The Vice President then went on to list a number of social intervention programs the government has introduced since 2017 to alleviate the suffering of the people beyond the macro data, such as: creating physical space for the public sector to employ additional 350, 000 workers, subsidy for farmers, restoration of teacher and nursing trainee allowances, reduction of electricity bills, reduction of import duties by 50%, improving the process of clearing goods at the port through automation, graduate employment through NABCO, employment for people with disability, providing drugs to sickle cell patients as well as the flagship Free SHS program.

On the fight against corruption, Dr Bawumia said the government of Akudo-Addo has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to fight it through measures such as the automation of the justice system to avoid judicial corruption, significant reduction in sole-sourcing, the signing of the Witness Protection Act Companies Registration and the Right To Information Bill as well as the digitization and automation systems at state institutions such as passport office, DVLA, NHIA, and the ports.

The Vice President added that the fight against corruption is an ongoing process.

"We haven't eliminated corruption because it is a fight that has to keep going on. But look at some of the policies Nana Nana Akufo-Addo has put in place to tackle it such as the Right to Information Bill, the witness protection act, the company's Act, digitization at the ports, etc. We are also prosecuting over 20 officials from the previous government for corruption”.

"These are practical examples of the government has done and we have to be proud of it.” Dr Bawumia told the gathering.

The Vice President once again dared the NDC to tell Ghanaians the specifics of how they fought corruption during their last 8 years in office.

"The NDC cannot tell you what they did to combat corruption in their 8 years in office. I challenged President Mahama to tell us specifics; get to the micro-level and tell us what did you did to combat corruption in your 8 years in office."

"We can tell as NPP what we have done specifically to combat corruption. We are not saying we have eliminated it, but we have put in place an architecture to deal with it and we have reduced and we will continue the battle on corruption."

"The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has kept faith with the people. We have delivered and we are on course to deliver at least 72% of our promises."

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