Loans Were Used Wisely – Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo exchanging pleasantries with John Dramani Mahama, during the 2023 State of the Nation Address in Parliament.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has stated unequivocally that the government has not been reckless in borrowing and spending funds, noting that the debts that the country is currently servicing were not only contracted during his administration.
“We have spent money on things that are urgent, to build roads and bridges and schools, to train our young people and equip them to face a competitive world,” he told Parliament yesterday, while presenting a message on the State of the Nation.
He stated that no one can claim that the government over borrowed or spent recklessly given the amount of work that still needs to be done in the country, such as the construction of roads, bridges, and classrooms, as well as the provision of furniture and equipment for all levels of education and potable water for towns and villages.
According to the President, he has been in a hurry to complete projects in agriculture, education, health, irrigation, roads, rails, ports, airports, sea defence, digitisation, social protection programmes, industrialisation, and tourism because of the country’s needs.
“We can be justifiably proud of the many things we have managed to do in the past six (6) years. As I go around the country, I hear the pleas for roads, schools, hospitals, and, as the rainy season comes, I wish, as every other Ghanaian does, that we would have built more drains than we have. And I wish we had the resources to do more,” he intimated.
“But, Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the amount of work that we have done, especially in the road sector. Roads constitute the largest number of questions asked in this House by Members of Parliament; a large amount of the monies we borrow are for road construction. Shall we dare stop constructing roads?” he asked rhetorically.
President Akufo-Addo stated categorically that his government had built more roads than any government in the history of the Fourth Republic, and added, “Mr. Speaker, the details of all these roads are attached in the annex to this Message.”
“I have done so because, last year, when I made a similar pronouncement, I was met with howls and gasps of incredulity from the Minority benches, and so I thought it appropriate, this time, to present it as an annex to the Statement, which will be part of Hansard,” he noted.
The President said beyond the construction of roads, the NPP administration has successfully implemented a National Identification System with the Ghana Card and constructed more railways than any other government in the Fourth Republic.
He asserted that the NPP government had also established the Zongo Development Fund to address the needs of Zongo and inner-city communities, pointing out, “Under their auspices, we have constructed more infrastructure in the Zongo Communities than any other government in the Fourth Republic.”
He revealed that the government had again constructed more National Communications Authority (NCA) licensed fibre optic cable than any other government in the Fourth Republic (93% of total); increased the proportion of the population with access to toilet facilities from 33% to 59%; increased the number of public libraries from 61 from independence until 2017 to 115 in 2022; and provided more equipment (vehicles, ammunition, etc) to security services than any other government in the Fourth Republic.
“We have successfully implemented the digital address system; significantly improved the financing of governance and anti-corruption MDAs like the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General, NCCE, CHRAJ, EOCO etc.,” he added.
The President said the government had successfully implemented the One District One Factory programme, saying, “In four years, 106 companies are in operation under 1D1F. 148 factories under construction. This is the largest expansion of that sector since independence.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House