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Opinions of Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Columnist: Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei

An overview of Akufo-Addo’s four years

He was vilified, caricatured, and ridiculed by men of straw; men whose only claim to fame was the use of their tongue to spew untruths, defame and insult his person. His determination to become the president to help the poor and needy brought him to abuse and hatred from a section of our society.

Charlatans and unmedicated schizophrenics masquerading as prophets pronounced him “accursed” and “unapproved of God to ever become the president”! With some lunatic fringe from the camp of his opponents messing up at the gate of his own home amidst invectives and spewing of vituperations; his victory in 2016 surely did not come by easily.

Unperturbed, he soldiered on until he was sworn in as The President of Ghana on 7th January 2017 following a victory of seismic proportions in Ghanaian and African democratic history.

“Fellow Ghanaians”, this write-up is not intended to heap platitudes on the President but to take a bird’s eye view of his administration’s performance. Suffice to say though, that the economy was in doldrums when he took over the reins of the country.

Former President Mahama’s “Y’awe nam no ama aka nnompe” only confirmed the anaemic state of the economy he left behind. It was undoubtedly a huge challenge how Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was going to secure funds to develop the country not to mention launching his flagship programs such as “Free SHS, NABCO, 1V-1D, Stabilisation of power, Railway Development, Restoration of nurses and teachers’ allowances among others.

Education:

The above challenges notwithstanding, Nana Addo set off “…in a hurry…” to launch his Free SHS program just 7 months upon assumption of power amidst a red-blooded, lock-up your children and X-rated insults from his opponents. Akufo-Addo remained focused and undeterred. He persevered to make education accessible to everyone; rich or poor.

The results are there for all to see after 3 years! It must be said though that Akufo-Addo’s version of “free education” is a novelty not practiced anywhere else. Even in the developed world, it is only tuition which is free; the cost of feeding, uniform, books are all borne by the parents/guardian.

The success of this has caused a shiver in the spine of John Mahama and his NDC who are making a desperately anaemic and flaccid attempts to lay claim to the same programme they had lampooned and lambasted.

The children who completed the 3 years SHS programme recently did so with record-breaking success and to make the programme even better, the Akufo-Addo government is undertaking monumental infrastructural development in the education sector.

As I write this piece, the government has undertaken a total of 3,251 infrastructure projects in the education sector alone in the last 4 years. Of these, 1,597 have been completed, including 448 senior high school projects with 1,654 currently ongoing.

The education ministry under Akufo Addo has completed 1,011 Senior High School projects including classrooms, dormitories, libraries and ICT Laboratories. They have also extended free Wi-Fi to 722 Senior High schools and 46 Colleges of Education.

It is worthy of note also that, there are ongoing construction of new infrastructure including laboratories, classrooms, hostels, administrative offices and refurbishing of existing infrastructure in 34 National Vocational and Technical Institutes (NVTI’s).

Tertiary institutions have also benefitted significantly. The government has completed a multipurpose Graduate School Complex at KNUST, Regional Water and Sanitation Centre at KNUST, 6-Storey Lecture Hall and Office Complex at KNUST, 5-Storey Student Hostel at Takoradi Technical University, 4-Storey SRC Complex at Takoradi Technical University.

These are but a few examples. The numbers are unprecedented in the annals of Ghanaian politics especially in the first term of any administration. Restoration of teachers allowance alone brought so much relief to a lot of trainee teachers from deprived families.

Energy/Electricity:

It is worth remembering also that before Akufo-Addo took over governance in January 2017, the country had been enveloped in darkness for 5 years and had led to the coinage of the infamous oxymoronic word; “Dumsor!” Within 3 months of coming to power, the government found the wherewithal and the funds to stabilize electricity in the country that has led to the revival of industries which hitherto had collapsed.

In addition, the Akufo-Addo’s administration has since paid GH¢12 billion as of June 2020 for some fiendish take-or-pay power purchase agreements entered into by the clueless John Mahama administration and have also started power extension to 3844 rural communities.

As of today, the government has already extended electricity to 2824 communities whilst 1020 others are ongoing. They have also completed the Reverse Flow for West Africa Gas Pipeline and the Relocation of Karpower Barge to Takoradi.

In that same regard, the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point is 75% completed, Kasoa Bulk Supply Point is 35% completed, Substation at Kanda is 31% completed as well as 31% completion of the Substation at Legon. This is extremely significant to push his industrialization agenda.

Transport (Road/Railways) Infrastructure:

Pre 2016 elections, the NDC made Ghanaians understand that John Mahama undertook an “…unprecedented road infrastructure…” development in the country however, shortly after they lost the elections, it became apparent that it was all a hoax.

Chiefs in every town or village complained about the bad state of their roads to the new administration when The President went around the country on his “Thank You” tour.

As if Akufo-Addo wanted to prove his preparedness to tackle the hydra-headed problems confronting the country head-on to Ghanaians; his administration set out to map out a strategy to deal with the shortfall in the road infrastructure.

Acknowledging the dire nature of the economy they had inherited; they came up with the “Syno-Hydro Deal” which brought some needed cash to address some of the road deficits.

As I type on my keyboards right now, the NPP administration has completed almost 751 km of roads with an asphaltic overlay which is undoubtedly the largest in the annals of Ghana’s history. Akufo-Addo’s administration has proved matchless in this area.

They have completed the Tema Interchange whereas Tamale, Pokuase, PTC, Takoradi, Obetsebi-Lamptey interchanges are all at various stages of completion.

Similarly, they have completed 46 steel, concrete, and footbridges across the country with 33 more still ongoing.

In addition to the above, as many as 46 cocoa road projects have been completed since 2017.

Others such as the Bimbilla -Salaga road, Gushegu- Nalerigu road, Nakpayili-Wulensi-Kpandai, Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodopepesu road, Kpando-Nkonya-Worawora road, Nandi Junction – Doedokope road, Krachi – Banda road, Dambai Town roads, Bunkpurugu-Nalerigu-Nakpanduri-Binde road, Nalerigu-Gbintiri road, Yagaba-Mankragu road, Wulugu-Wiase road, Chereponi Town Roads, Bunkuprugu Town

Roads, Nalerigu Town Roads, Walewale Town Roads, Kete-Krachi Town Roads, Nkonya – Kwamikrom Road, Worawora – Jasikan Road, Kumasi Inner City Roads, Cape Coast Inner City roads, Sunyani Inner City roads, Prestea Inner City Roads, Accra Inner City Roads, La Beach Road, Dualization of Ho Main Road, Obeyeyie-Amrahia-Ablekuma road, Dormaa Town roads, Atebubu town roads, Atebubu-Kwame-Danso, Akim-Oda-Ofoasekuma, Sampa-Jinini, Bawjiase-Swedru, Osiem-Begoro, Bolga – Naaga road are all at various stages of completion.

There are many others that time and space would not permit me to mention. The government has done exceptionally well in this area.

Our railways have not been left out of the monumental transformation going on in the transport industry. I believe this is one area the government has not done well to showcase their unprecedented achievements. The projects the government has undertaken in this area since 2017 include the completed rehabilitation of 30km Accra – Tema line, 33km Achimota – Nsawam, and 56km Kojokrom – Tarkwa narrow gauge lines.

In the same vein, the construction of the new standard gauge Western Line from Takoradi to Kumasi has commenced whilst the 22km Kojokrom - Manso section is ongoing.

The government has also completed the construction of the Railway Training School in Sekondi whilst the 97km Tema- Mpakadan railway line is ongoing. It is rather hard to believe all these projects are going on at a time the Coronavirus pandemic has run-down economies worldwide!

Agriculture:

Yet another programme Akufo-Addo initiated when he came to power was “Planting for Food and Jobs and Raring for Jobs and Export”.

This programme received an overwhelming endorsement of Ghanaians which has ensured that there has been food aplenty in the country for the past 3 and a half years. For the first time in many decades, Ghana now has a food surplus and is exporting foodstuffs to Burkina Faso, Togo, Ivory Coast, Niger and Mali. To ensure all-year-round farming in the northern part of Ghana, the government has undertaken the construction of 439 small earth dams under the “One Village-One Dam” program with 375 already completed.

Again, the Minister of Agriculture has commenced the construction of 19 irrigation projects including the 1 billion dollars Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam which is the biggest ever infrastructure development in the history of the northern part of Ghana since independence.

In furtherance to the above, Nana Addo’s government under the “One-District/One Warehouse” have constructed 80 1000MT warehouses across the country, 100 Greenhouses and 3 Greenhouses Training Centres with commercial components at Dawhenya, Akumadan, and Bawjiase. This is beyond a miracle.

Health:

Ghanaians can attest to the benefit of the NHIS program initiated by Former President Kufuor likewise, they can confirm that the program had collapsed under John “Incompetent” Mahama and his NDC. The NDC left massive arrears leaving the program in a state of catatonic inertia.

The Ministry of Health under Akufo-Addo immediately went to work and managed to find money to pay all the arrears and also absorbed thousands of nurses who had been at home for over 4 years after leaving school.

It is heart-warming to know today that the government has commenced and or completed the construction of 439 CHPS compounds, 55 maternity blocks, 69 Clinics and have also completed 16 out of 30 health infrastructure projects inherited from the NDC government. Also, there is an ongoing construction of another 9 district hospitals at Dronbonso, Twedie, Manso-Nkwanta, Sabronum, Jumapo, Adukrom, Chiase Kwabeng and Anyinam. Other infrastructure development under The Ministry of Health include the commencement of the construction of 600 bed regional hospital in Koforidua, completion of the 500 bed Military Hospital started by President Kufuor at Afari in Ashanti Region, completion of Children and Maternity block at KATH which was started by Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, Rehabilitation of Tetteh Quarshie Hospital, Kibi, and Atibie Hospitals, the completion of the first ever Infectious Disease Centre at Kwabenya, Zipline Drone Centres across the country and the procurement of 307 state of the art ambulances. Methinks it was a divine design for Akufo-Addo to become president in such a time like this when Covid-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe. Nana Addo’s handling of the pandemic has been exceptional. As if the above was not enough, Ghanaians are now enjoying free water and electricity for the next 6 months to ease the financial difficulties brought on Ghanaians by Covid-19. This is unheard of, anywhere in the world! Ghanaians, mo mp3 wei na mop3 de3n? To wit, Ghanaians, what more could you have asked for?

Industrialisation/Employment:

Akufo-Addo had a near-impossible vision to industrialise the country hence, the launch of 1D-1F programme. The President has demonstrated that he is someone who responds to the needs of his people. His answer to the then “Unemployed Graduates Association”, was the swift introduction of NABCo which immediately absorbed 100,000 of the unemployed graduates. The miraculous revival of Anglo-Gold Ashanti and restoration of STC created significant avenue for employment. Under the 1D-1F initiative, there are 76 companies which are currently in operation with a further 107 IDIF companies under construction. Ghana’s industrial forward march have seen the likes of VW setting up an assembly plant which has already commenced production. These and many more have been achieved in just 4 years.

“Fellow Ghanaians”, I could go on and on but the truth is that, the man; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo seems to have the Midas touch which has eluded our leaders over the years. He makes up for what he lacks in physique with raw vision, monstrous determination and a matchless steel-will.

Readers may recall that leading up to the 2016 elections, Nana Addo was seen drinking “Kalypo” on one of his campaign trips. This fortuitous act brought the “The Kalypo Challenge” craze on social media with the concomitant boom in the sale of that product.

As if that was not enough, his penchant for clothing himself in attires made of Ghanaian fabric since becoming the President has suddenly brought a sharp increase in the sale of anything made of Ghanaian fabrics! Undoubtedly, the Ghanaian fabric industry is booming because he promotes the brand by wearing them.

The Dagbon conflict which became such an albatross on the neck of our nation and caused so much pain to our compatriots up north suddenly came to an end under Akufo-Addo’s watch! If this is what the man who is “accursed and unapproved by God” could achieve in 4 years; then who wants the “approved” one? 3nne3 Awurade, y3 p3 wei saa!

Well, the choice for Ghanaians could not have been made simpler and clearer on 7th December 2020. This year’s elections is between a genuine development agenda on one hand represented by the NPP as opposed to that of an “artistic impression” development in a certain “Green Book” by the NDC. Need I remind readers of who to vote for? “Fellow Ghanaians!” I shall be back after January 7th, 2021.

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