President Nana Akufo-Addo has said that the so-called unprecedented projects, especially roads, which former President John Dramani Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government spoke about are nowhere to be found.
During the 2016 electioneering campaign, then President Mahama accused Nana Addo, then presidential hopeful of the New Patriotic Party), of not seeing the ‘rehabilitated roads because he was sleeping as he travelled to do his campaign throughout the country.
President Akufo-Addo made this observation yesterday when he interacted with the chiefs and people of Nkoranza North, as well as all the chiefs who want the creation of Bono East Region from the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The durbar of chiefs and the people took place at Busunya in the Nkoranza North District on day one of the president’s three-day tour of the region.
His response was in reaction to a request by the Omanhene of Techiman, Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV – chairman of the Coalition of Bono East Region – that they need roads in the area.
President Akufo-Addo assured the people that his government is doing everything possible to construct and upgrade roads in the area.
He indicated that the brief period of his administration has witnessed the fulfilment of a number of promises he made to Ghanaians in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
According to him, many of the pledges were described by his political opponents as lies and impossibilities.
“They told you that Free SHS was a lie. They said I could not restore teacher trainee and nursing trainee allowances. They said the revival of the National Health Insurance Scheme was also impossible.
“Nananom, right before your very eyes, and in the eyes of all Ghanaians, I am fulfilling these promises one after the other. Before the end of my tenure in office, I would have fulfilled all of the promises I made to you,” the president articulated.
“Free SHS is now a reality. In September this year, the Free SHS policy will cover new entrants, in addition to those who will then be in SHS 2. By September 2019, it will cover all students in senior high schools across the country. Teacher and nursing trainees are also receiving their allowances. We have also retired a large chunk of the NHIS debt left by my predecessor, and the NHIS is working,” he claimed.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that with the fulfilment of his promises, “Ghanaians will know that I am an honest person who did not deceive them in order to win their votes in 2016.”
Touching on one of his government’s flagship projects, President Akufo-Addo, noted that the ‘Planting for food and jobs had resulted in the Brong-Ahafo Region receiving 15% of farm inputs, thus becoming the largest recipient region of inputs for the programme.
“Last year 200,000 farmers nationwide were beneficiaries of the programme. This year, we are increasing the scope to 500,000 farmers. By 2020, one million farmers will be beneficiaries,” he said.
On the proposed creation of new regions, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Justice Brobbey Commission, which is inquiring into the need for the creation of new regions, would by the end of June, present its report.
He told the audience that if he received the recommendations from the Commission, and they are positive, he would send the proposals to the Electoral Commission to organise a referendum in the areas where there are demands for the creation of new regions.
He explained that the referendum would require that 50% of the residents concerned come out to vote, and 80% of them must vote ‘Yes’ for the creation of the new region.
Responding to a request for government to help all the people who lost their investments to DKM, Care for Humanity, God is Love, amongst others, to retrieve their moneys, the president said so far about 90 per cent of all DKM investors had been paid.
With 90% of refunds made to the victims of DKM and other financial entities, President Akufo-Addo urged the people of the region, and indeed, all parts of the country, to be wary of unlicensed microfinance institutions.
He asked them to demand from microfinance institutions into which they intend to deposit monies, their licence from the Bank of Ghana before engaging in any transactions with them.
Oseadeeyo Ameyaw Ekumfi IV had earlier said that the area has a lot of resources such as gold, diamond, rivers, markets and banks that can support the region to succeed.
On the rationale for his regional tour, President Akufo-Addo stated, “I cannot stay in Accra and know what’s going on in the country. If I do not leave my office and come to you in your regions, I will not know what is truly happening on the ground. So, every year, I will visit every region in the country to know what is going on.”
He commissioned the new Techiman Divisional Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service and also cut the sod for the construction of a new district hospital at Nkoranza.