State Of The Nation Address | Mahama Touches On Key Areas Of The Economy



President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday presented his last State of the Nation address to the august house of parliament.

A confident and calm looking John Mahama spoke for more than three hours touching on key sectors of the economy.

The president described the education sector as the single most effective way to changing the lives of the individual and that of the larger society.

He said conscious efforts, interventions and strategies have been made to raise the quality of education such as free distribution of school uniforms,textbooks and sandals.

Additionally, teachers have been better trained and equipped to professionally do their work effectively whilst enrollment into University, Polytechnic and Teacher Training Colleges has increased by 6.3% and 8.9 % and 63% respectively.

Under the health sector, the president trumpeted the strides made so far. He revealed that life expectancy has increased by more than 14 years as a result of advances in medicine, improvement in health infrastructure and increase in the number of health personnel.

He added that government has disbursed more than GH¢ 50 million to assist local pharmaceutical companies in Ghana and also removed VAT on raw materials for them.

The government has invested more than 2 billion dollars in the health sector over the last few years in health infrastructure.

His Excellency disclosed that cabinet has approved the Child and Family Welfare Policy, the National Gender Policy, the Social Protection Policy, the Justice for Children and the School Feeding Policy  to strengthen our children and social protection.

He further revealed that disability grant as percentage of the District Assemblies Common Fund has been increased from 2% to 3% and additional support has been provided under the Skills Development Fund to the Ghana Society for the Physically Disabled to procure a modern automated chalk molding plant.

He commended all the National teams for their great show of patriotism and dedication in raising high the flag of Ghana.

He said the Cape Coast Sports Stadium is ready for commissioning whilst drawings and bills of quantity for the construction of the New Edubiase Sports Stadium is almost completed.

The boxing sector too was not left out as a new boxing gym and an ultra modern sports complex is to be constructed near the Korle lagoon.

The president touched on fiscal disciplined as the 2016 general election approaches and projected budget deficit to be as low 5.3% of GDP.

He reiterated that all public sector workers have been successfully migrated onto the Single Spine Salary Structure. The president also blamed the Bank of Ghana for the influx of botched micro finance companies and charged parliament to expedite action on the Ghana Deposit Protection Bill.

He assured distressed customers to be patient as government tries all legal avenues to reimburse them.

On corruption, the president talked about the effects of corruption on the country by describing it as an enemy of corruption.

He was of the view  that his government has tackled the canker with determination and fortitude taken into consideration the swiftness in handling some corruption cases such as the rot at the National Service Secretariat.

The energy sector was also not left out of the address because of its impact on the economy. He recounted that he was painfully aware of the frustrations of Ghanaians and worked tirelessly with his competent appointees to fix the dumsor.

That single initiative of adding about 800MW to our generation capacity per his address was the fastest mobilization of emergency power as far as our generation capacity is concerned.

According to him power sector deficit has also been fixed as access to electricity has increased from 76% to 80.5%.