President John Dramani Mahama has described his first term in office as a very challenging yet positive and fruitful one.
But he said in all the challenges that the nation faced, God created the opportunities for the laying down of the foundations needed for the sustainable development of the nation.
A prolonged elections dispute, serious macro-economic challenges, a crippling power crisis, a spate of industrial unrests, market fires and an adverse international environment were all forces the government had to contend with, he said.
He said the government’s focus for the past four years had been to resolve the power crisis, restore the economy and to improve on socio-economic infrastructure.
“With your understanding and cooperation, we have put the worst of the power crisis behind us. The fast-tracked addition of almost thousand megawatts of power to our generation has enable us to balance supply against demand. While we have done a lot to resolve the crisis, a lot more remains to be done to ensure sustainability as we found out recently with the delay in the delivery of a parcel of light crude oil in June from Nigeria due to militant activity.”
President Mahama said he was not only committed to making Ghana energy sufficient but making the country the hub of power supply in the whole of the sub-region.
More robust economy
President Mahama predicted that Ghana would come out of its International Monetary Fund programme next year and emerge with a more robust economic outlook.
He said as President he has had to take very bold decisions to properly position the economy, aware also that the consequences for a collapsed economy would be too dire to imagine.
“In 2013 we were running a budget deficit of close 12 percent; rising inflation; a depreciating currency and spiraling interest rate. This created a negative outlook for both domestic and international investors. Our major strategy in the short term was to reduce the budget deficit and to tame inflation. To achieve this we needed to implement some difficult decisions, including controlling expenditure, removing unsustainable subsidies and increasing revenues.”
President Mahama pointed out the government had done exceedingly well in the area of restoring socio economic infrastructure – access to potable water, extension of electric power supply, improvement of health facilities, expansion of access and quality of education and rehabilitation of road networks.