President Nana Akufo-Addo will later today [ Thursday] deliver his third State of the Nation address to Parliament.
The address is in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution which states that “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before a dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation.”
President Akufo-Addo is therefore expected to account for his stewardship over the last one year.
In general, the President’s address is expected to be heavy on the economy, spelling out how policies he initiated over the last year are likely to impact the living conditions of Ghanaians.
Sectors such as education, agriculture, health and the economy in general, are expected to feature prominently.
He is also likely to touch on measures being devised by his government to address insecurity in the country, given the recent cases of abduction and murder in the country.
2017 State of the Nation
Notable in his 2017 presentation, President Akufo-Addo accused the Mahama administration of increasing the country’s debt stock to about GHc122 billion from GHc9.5 billion in 2009.
The President noted that the previous government missed almost all the International Monetary Fund targets, whilst leaving the country with a debt stock of GHc122 billion, including a $2.4 billion debt in the power sector.
President Akufo-Addo also held that, Ghana’s economy was in a dire state because the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government had left the country with a GDP rate of 3.6%, which was the lowest the country had recorded in the past two decades.
Among the government key interventions he outlined were the Free Senior High School policy, the restoration of teacher trainee allowances, restoration of nurse trainee allowances, the review some taxes and levies, and also the review of some power agreements to protect the public purse.
Among some of the key targets met, the Akufo-Addo administration was able to roll out the Free Senior High School policy, restored both teacher and nurse trainee allowances, and ensured the review of electricity tariffs.
2018 State of the Nation Address
The most recent State of the Nation address by President Nana Akufo-Addo, contained a number of projections and proposals, notably when he spoke on sanitation, the creation of new regions, the state of the eastern corridor road, among others.
He also reiterated the efforts and strategies underway to put the economy on a sound footing, improve agriculture, enhance road network, revive the country’s rail network, the health sector, as well as give real meaning to the fight against corruption.
The President indicated that the debt accumulation, which, in recent years, had been as high as 36%, had declined to 13.6%, as of September 2017.
On job creation, the President said government had put in place structures to help small and medium scale enterprises and budding entrepreneurs go through the challenging start-up years
Address must focus on security
The Minority members of Parliament have asked the President to focus on security in the country in his 2019 State of the Nation Address.
Their request comes in the wake of what the Minority has called a “state of insecurity” following the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, which observers have criticised for having excessive security.
Hundreds of Ghanaians a few weeks ago marched through principals streets of Accra to put pressure on the government to take urgent action against the growing incidents of violence and attacks in the country.