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General News of Tuesday, 10 January 2017


No excuse to be poor - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his commitment to turn around the fortunes of the country, emphasizing the long-held view of many Ghanaians and foreigners that Ghanaians have no excuse to be poor in their own land.

He was emphatic that the hardships in Ghana today contradict the rich and vast resources dotted all over the country.

According to him, the poorly developed nature of the country would be enough to draw tears from its founding fathers.

Ghana will mark its 60th Independence anniversary on March 6, 2017.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has, therefore, pledged to cut taxes to boost the economy, invest heavily in agriculture, education and health whilst also promising to protect the public purse by getting value for money on all transactions.

These were contained in his inaugural speech after he was sworn-in as the 5th President of Ghana, at the Black Stars Square on Saturday.

Value for money pledge

“We must restore integrity in public life. State coffers are not for the party that wins an election, but resources are for [the] country’s social economic development.”

The President said public service is not an avenue for politicians to make money; money is to be made by the private sector for the public.

All hands on deck

President Nana Akufo-Addo said the change that the country voted for must commence with every individual, noting that “it is time to define what being a Ghanaian ought to mean. Being a Ghanaian must mean you sign up to a definable code of conduct”.

He said it is time for the Ghanaian to imagine and dream again and be responsible citizens.

He was emphatic that "fidelity to principle, courage, patience and collective action to yield results" are the new attributes required of Ghanaians.

President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence in Ghanaians, charging them to put their energy, intelligence and sense of purpose to the disposal of his government for the upward march of the country.

He said the change Ghanaians voted for should start with the citizenry, and urged everyone to adopt a participatory and responsible approach to lift Ghana to a truly economically independent nation.

“I ask you to be citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects,” he said, adding, “I am determined to do all in my power to accomplish the task of the mandate and justify your confidence. I will not let you, the people of Ghana, down”, he added.

President Nana Akufo Addo said his government would open the doors of Ghana again to track the needed foreign investments and to give Ghanaians the opportunity for growth.

He pledged the commitment of his administration to provide vision and direction, and shine the light down the path of our entrepreneurs.

“We rely on a vibrant private sector to spur growth and create jobs. It is time to imagine and dream again. Time to try that business idea; we will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy,” he said.

Separation of powers

President Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized the need for the separation of powers among the arms of government to make each arm truly independent of the other and work in tandem, rather than compete for superiority, in the interest of Ghana.

“We should move on to deepen our democracy. It is time to make sure there is true separation of powers between the various arms of government. Our Parliament must grow into its proper role as an effective machine for accountability and oversight of the executive and not be its junior partner,” he added.

Harnessing of science and technology

President Nana Akufo-Addo said he would ensure that his government gave more attention to the harnessing of science and technology to drive development in Ghana.

According to him, there exist an exuberant and young growing population that wants the best of what the world has to offer, and would not settle for Third World and developing world standards, saying: "We have an adventurous people who are in a hurry for success.

“I have no doubt that the talents, energy, sense of enterprise and innovation of the Ghanaian can be harnessed to make Ghana the place where dreams come true,” he said.

Key quotes from President Nana Akufo-Addo’s speech

1. “I will protect the public purse.” “We will provide vision and direction.”

2. “I ask you to be citizens, not spectators: citizens not subjects.”

3. “It is time to make sure that there is a true separation of powers in our arms of government.”

4. “I will not let you, the people of Ghana, down”.

5. “The change we have voted for has to start with each individual. I ask you to be responsible citizens.”

6. “It is time to define what being a Ghanaian ought to mean. Being a Ghanaian must mean you sign up to a definable code of conduct.”

7. “I shall protect the public purse by insisting on value for money in all transactions.”

8. “I see exciting times ahead, the rule of law will be the underlining tenet of our governance”.

9. ”We should learn and accept that we do not own the land, but hold it in trust for future generations.”

10. “State coffers are not the spoils for victorious political parties. I promise to protect the public purse”.

11. “After 60 years of independence, we no longer have any excuse for being poor.”