SONA 2023: Together We’ll Surmount Crisis – President Akufo-Addo | General News



President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has rallied Ghanaians to imagine in themselves and their capability to beat the present financial issues bedeviling the nation.

He stated when darkish clouds created shadows that momentarily shielded yearned-for imaginative and prescient, they shouldn’t be moments of despair, including: “Such moments name for energy of character, a way of objective and an abiding dedication to the final good.”

President Akufo-Addo made the decision when he delivered a message on the State of the Nation to Parliament in Accra Wednesday (March 8, 2023). 

He described the financial challenges as a part within the improvement course of, and that he was sure “that this too shall move. We’ve got performed it earlier than and we’ll do it once more”.

Current in Parliament for the tackle have been former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama; the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah; justices of the Supreme Court docket, Service Commanders, the Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, members of the Diplomatic Corps and different nationwide figures.

President Akufo-Addo, whose tackle was heavy on the economic system, stated historical past was replete with situations when nations, at a cut-off date, got here underneath tough conditions.

He touched on the gravity of the financial state of affairs and the way rapidly the economic system can be stabilised in direction of fast development. 

Tracing the trajectory of the present state of affairs, the President stated previous to the outbreak of the COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine warfare, all empirical indicators pointed within the path that the nation was doing properly.

“I’ve stated, and lots of others, together with the Managing Director of the IMF, have additionally stated, that our economic system was doing properly till COVID-19 and the warfare in Ukraine took us off track,” he stated. 

President Akufo-Addo stated the two-pronged disaster resulted within the foreign money buffeting, inflation shot up very excessive and, for the primary time within the lifetime of the nation, “debt exchanges have develop into the language of on a regular basis conversations”. 

He recounted numerous interventions by the federal government within the well being, financial, instructional, safety and livelihood sectors, which demanded enormous assets when the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced.

COVID-19 funds
Responding to claims in latest occasions by the Minority that the federal government was reckless with COVID-19 funds, the President famous that the financial fallout from the pandemic was so widespread and long-lasting that it was vital to reveal that the funds weren’t misused. 

“It’s crucial that we don’t lose the arrogance of the folks {that a} disaster that they have been led to imagine we have been all in collectively was abused for private acquire,” he added. 

He gave an assurance that nothing untoward had been performed with the funds, and that the responses from the ministers of Well being and Finance had sufficiently laid to relaxation queries from the Auditor-Normal’s report.

He expressed the hope that any goal scrutiny of the statements from the 2 ministers would justify the conclusion.

President Akufo-Addo gave a breakdown of the utilization of the funds to incorporate GH¢518 million of grants and loans to micro, small and medium enterprises by means of the Ghana Enterprise Company, by means of which 302,515 enterprises, out of which 60 per cent have been women-owned, benefitted.  

He indicated that the enterprises have been in misery on account of the pandemic, including: “For some merchants, the receipt of GH¢1,000 made a distinction between the damage of the family and survival.”

He stated 58,041 well being staff have been employed to complement the present well being sector workforce, noting that subsequently, all had been absorbed as everlasting staff within the well being sector.

He added that frontline well being staff have been additionally granted a 50 per cent tax reduction for the interval and questioned if that was one thing to remorse.

Once more, the President indicated that every one households loved free water provide and large reductions on electrical energy payments, whereas an financial cushion was offered to guard lives and livelihoods at a time of issue.

“As we speak, the federal government’s assist for utility payments is being projected by some as a waste, or to make use of that phrase so beloved of some commentators, ‘profligate’,” he stated. 

The President stated past using COVID-19 funds, there have been official questions on how the nation’s debt state of affairs received the place it was. 

Offering a proof, he indicated that the federal government had not been reckless in borrowing and spending and famous that the money owed being serviced weren’t contracted solely in the course of the interval of his administration. 

He stated the federal government had spent the cash on constructing roads, bridges and colleges to coach our younger folks and equip them to face a aggressive world.

He defined that trying on the work that wanted to be performed on roads, bridges, school rooms, furnishings and tools and the variety of cities and villages that also didn’t have entry to potable water, “I daresay nobody can counsel we’ve over-borrowed or spent recklessly”.

President Akufo-Addo defined that past the development of roads, his administration had carried out the Nationwide Identification System, with the Ghana Card being essentially the most sought-after identification system; constructed extra railways than every other authorities within the Fourth Republic and established the Zongo Improvement Fund.

He additionally indicated that greater than 93 per cent of the fibre optic cables constructed within the nation have been performed within the final 5 years, with the variety of public libraries within the nation rising from 61 from independence till 2017 to 115 in 2022, whereas extra tools (automobiles, ammunition, and so forth) had been offered for the safety companies than every other authorities within the Fourth Republic.

The President talked about the introduction of an e-VAT and e-Invoicing system which had culminated in enchancment in income assortment. 
He cited the instance of 19 taxpaying firms on the e-Vat system rising their month-to-month gross sales from GH¢222 million in November 2021 to GH¢720 million in November 2022. 

He stated in December 2021, whole month-to-month gross sales of GH¢284 million additionally noticed an enormous improve to GH¢1 billion in December 2022.

President Akufo-Addo recommended Parliament for its assist all through the engagement with the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF), in addition to the passage of key income legal guidelines. 

He indicated that there have been some few payments, such because the Revenue Tax (Modification) Invoice, the Excise Responsibility & Excise Tax Stamp (Modification) Invoice, in addition to the Progress and Sustainability Levy Invoice, which have been excellent and wanted the pressing consideration of the Home and passage to finish the prior actions. 

That, he defined, would put the nation in readiness for its presentation to the IMF Board and, extra importantly, bolster its home income mobilisation efforts. 

The President stated given the extent of the fiscal and debt sustainability situation the federal government was addressing, fiscal adjustment and structural reforms weren’t ample for the restoration of debt sustainability.




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