The following are highlights of President Mahama’s previous State of the Nation address presented on Thursday February 26, 2015.
Ghana will celebrate its 58th Independence Anniversary next week and gives a brief background about how Nkrumah’s feat of attaining independence brought hope to Ghanaians. 58 years on, the reality of life is one of challenges.
But as long as we believe we will create a country of prosperity we all deserve.
We climb the greatest hill only to find that there are many more hills. We have climbed many hills together and we shall climb many more. One of such hills is to provide power to Ghanaians. The effect of this power crisis has affected all Ghanaians. We have been here before in 1998 2007 and i do not intend to manage it. I intend to fix it. I John Mahama will fix this challenge. One of the reasons why we are where we are is access to electricity in Ghana is part of the problem. Ghana runs second only to South Africa in terms of access to electricity.to the power grid.By 2016 there will be the addition of 3,665 megawatts to the power grid. He names the units including Asogli. We are now shifting from Hydro to thermal power.
Under the new millennium challenge we shall restructure and transform the ECG into a new modern customer sensitive institution. ECG believes they are entitled to use power without paying for it. It doesn’t work that way now. Government cannot continue to subsidize power.
I set up the ministry of power in November last year to look more closely at solving the power crisis. The Power Ministry will roll out emergency power plants intended to fix the problem. Pre paid solar schemes will be launched and make solar power available for micro entrepreneurs like barbers and shall be made. 200,000 roof top solar systems will be provided to homes which will save 200 megawatts of power daily.
Why we look at the generation side it is important to look at conservation. I applaud the energy commission for the energy saving tips.
Structure of the economy
The structure of the economy shall be changed under a bold initiative to be introduced.
A resit policy at the basic level has been introduced. A total of 1181 Candidates had the chance to resit their exams this year. These are people who otherwise would have had their education truncated. Alexander Dobaye an over 40 year old person took part in the exams. There will be 10,000 made in Ghana sandals distributed to pupils. 5,000 uniforms, 15million exercise books. 30,000 PCs will be distributed. Enrollment has increased as a result of a direct intervention by government.
At the start of the 2015-16 Academic year the free SHS programme will begin. 367,000 day students will pay no fees and will benefit from the policy. Between 2006 and 2014 when the West Africa Examination Council began the best performance was in 2012 and the worst was recorded in 2007. In 2012 the statistics 31.19% of students who had from distinction to pass while in 2007, 10.5.% had from distinction to pass. What this shows is that if you invest in education you will see progress. There is more room for progress.
Fire at CMS
The fire that gutted the Central Medical Store early this year has the potential of affecting the health delivery in the country. The fire has cost the nation close 356 million cedis. Short term measures have been introduced to mitigate the impact.
3 billion cedis will be spent on the health this year as indicated in the 2015 Budget. A good economy resides in the health of the people. There are a number of projects being executed which is likely to add 6000 new hospital beds between now and 2017. A number of hospitals are being constructed.13 District hospitals are being constructed to bring health care to the people. Madina, Salaga, Twifo Praso are some of the Districts to benefit.
Government has already completed some district hospitals across the country and a number of health centres. 15 Polyclinics will be started this year.
Young Martha Bissa snatched a gold medal at the youth Olympics and that is a feat worth celebrating. I hosted her and her family at the seat of government and she was excited. I congratulate the Black Stars for their feat at the just ended AFCON tournament. Many Ghanaians lost hope in them but the rose from the ashes of Brazil 2014 and achieved a great feat in Equatorial Guinea. The Ministry of Sports give equal attention to other sports. The neglect of the national league is a matter of concern and officials must work towards making it more attractive. On sports infrastructure work is progressing speedily on the cape coast stadium.
Government will provide tonnes of fertilizers, tractors and other agriculture inputs to farmers. Fish is an essential part of the nation’s nutritional needs and government has put in measures to ensure a reduction in fish importation in the country. Outboard motors will also be provided. Cold stores and fish processing plants would also be established.
The Commissioning of the Kpong Water project last year led to delivery of water to some communities especially in Accra. Some of the communities had not seen pipe borne water for two decades. It is the best Christmas gift I could give them. The Teshie Nungua desalination project has been concluded and it’s providing 13.2m gallons per day to about half a million people in Teshie. We have outstripped demand by 2.1 million gallons water per day.
168 housing units completed and handed over to security services. 5,000 housing units branded Nyame dua in Kpone is 70 per cent complete. These projects were started in 2006.
Developing a national housing policy and regulation of building codes. working on many road projects. Beginning the single most comprehensive road project costing1bn cedis commencing this year and continue in 2019 during my second term in office. These projects will be funded with Government of Ghana budget support and cocoa funds. These roads cut across every part of the country.