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State of the Nation Address 2021: Some highlights

State of the Nation Address 2021: Some highlights
State of the Nation Address 2021: Some highlights

Last Updated on March 15, 2021 by MyGh.Online

President Nana Akufo-Addo in his 2021 State of the Nation Address highlighted the many achievements of his government. He began his message by expressing his delight in delivering the State of the Nation Address for the first time in his second term.

“I am particularly delighted as this Message is the first of my 2nd term, the validity of which was unanimously upheld last week in a well-reasoned and excellent ruling by a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court, presided over by the Chief Justice, on 4th March 2021,” Akufo Addo said.

Highlights of the State of the Nation Address 2021

Health
COVID-19 had been the thorn in the flesh of many businesses and individuals. According to the COVID-19 Business Tracker survey, conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, seven hundred and seventy thousand (770,000) workers have had their wages reduced. Also, about forty-two thousand (42,000) employees were laid off during the three-week partial lockdown imposed on the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Areas and its surrounding areas.

Highlighting other dire impacts of the virus on the economy, Akufo Addo said
“overall economic growth rate for 2020 was revised downwards from 6.8% to 0.9%, revenue shortfall was estimated at GH¢13.5 billion.”
Fiscal deficit was revised from 4.7% of GDP to 11.4% of GDP, and a suspension of the fiscal responsibility rule of keeping a deficit within a threshold of 5% of GDP.

Measures instituted and achievements made
To jolt the economy back to life Akufo Addo stated the measures instituted by the government which are the:

  • Additional fifty percent (50%) basic salary allowance to healthcare workers.
  • Provision of free water for all households
  • Provision of free electricity for lifeline consumers, and a fifty percent (50%) discount for all other consumers.
  • Reduction in the Communication Service Tax (CST) from nine percent (9%) to five percent (5%).
  • Institution of a seven hundred and fifty million cedis (GH¢750 million) loan facility for micro, small and medium enterprises through the CAPBUS Initiative
  • Provision of a two billion cedi (GH¢2 billion) guarantee facility to support large businesses.
  • Intervention of the Bank of Ghana which has lowered the Monetary Policy Rate by one hundred and fifty (150) basis points to 14.5%, reduction in the Primary Reserve Requirement from 10% to 8%, reduction in the Capital Adequacy Requirement from 13% to11.5%, and the reduction in the interest rates based on the Ghana Reference Rate by two hundred (200) basis points.
  • Implementation of the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme to transform, revitalize and modernize the economy.
  • Ongoing vaccination exercise, and the easing of restrictions put in place to curb the effects of the disease.
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With all these measures in place, the economy is gradually gaining strength with Akufo Addo hopeful of a GDP growth rebound to almost five 5% against the IMF’s projection of 3.2% growth for Sub-Saharan Africa for 2021.

“We expect GDP growth to rebound strongly this year to nearly five percent (5%), above the IMF’s 2021 January projection of 3.2% growth for Sub-Saharan Africa for 2021,” Akufo Addo said.

Another stride highlighted by Akufo Addo is the acquisition of “307 functioning and well-equipped ambulances under the One-Constituency-One-Ambulance Initiative.” and the construction of 103,149 toilet facilities for vulnerable households in towns and villages to put an end to open defecation

Industry
The establishment of the One-District-One-Factory” (1D1F) initiative has witnessed 232 projects at various stages of implementation which according to Akufo Addo includes: “76 operating as 1D1F companies, whilst one hundred and twelve (112), including five (5) medium size agro-processing factories, and sixty-three (63) Common User Facilities are under construction.”

The establishment of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) which according to Akufo Addo has begun operation.
The attraction of global vehicle manufacturing brands likes Volkswagen and Nissan to set up a plant in Ghana under the automotive development policy. Volkswagen has produced 1,167 vehicles, SinoTruk 276 vehicles, and Kantanka 400 vehicles. Nissan according to Akufo Addo has begun “the assembly of vehicles in the country.”

Agriculture
Though the country faced harsh economic conditions as a result of the pandemic, Akufo Addo was happy to announce in parliament that the country had no food shortages due to the institution and implementation of such initiatives as

  • “Planting for Food and Jobs
  • Rearing for Food and Jobs the 1-Village-1-Dam initiative
  • 1-District-1-Warehouse policy
  • establishment of greenhouse villages
  • revitalization of the cocoa rehabilitation program
  • reactivation of our aquaculture industry
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Other achievements include:

  • The increase in maize and rice yields by 110% and 48% respectively.
  • The implementation of a US$400.00 per ton, for every cocoa sold by Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire is paid to farmers.

Education
According to Akufo Addo, academic intervention support of GH¢198 million was dedicated to extra classes for students in SHS.
free internet connectivity was implemented for secondary schools.
BECE registration fee for all students in public junior high school from 2017 till date was absorbed by the government. Also, there was the full absorption of WASSCE registration fees for students, which started last year.
the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) currently feeds 3.3 million pupils in some 9,000 kindergarten and primary schools.

Digitization
Addressing the speaker, Akufo Addo stated the following achievements.

  • Through the implementation of mobile money interoperability, 70% of the population have access to financial services either through a bank account or a mobile money account.
  • Every location in Ghana has a digital address thanks to the implementation of the Digital Property Addressing System.
  • The ability of SSNIT to pay pensions within ten (10) days of application.
  • Ending the “missing dockets” phenomenon and endless litigations through the e-Justice and e-Case register initiatives.

Sports

  • Construction of 10 Youth Resource Centres (YRC) across the country with varying levels of completion between 85% and 95%.
  • Allowances to about one thousand (1000) athletes through the Youth Employment Agency.
  • Renovation and rehabilitation of abandoned sports facilities.

Tourism

  • The “Year of Return” initiative that witnessed a dramatic rise in tourist particularly those from the diaspora.
  • The installation of Digital revenue collection systems at the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, and Wli Waterfalls.
  • The upgrade of 5 tourist attraction sites to meet international standards for increased visitation, job creation, and income.
  • The first-ever Creative Arts Senior High School, located in Kwadaso in the Ashanti Region, nears completion.
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Energy

  • A total of 1,436 communities have been connected to the national grid, which has increased the national electricity access rate to 85.17% as of October 2020.
  • Construction of a gas processing plant-train in the Western Region to complement the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant to increase dry gas delivery for power and non-power users.
  • Completion of the Takoradi-Tema Interconnection Project (TTIP) which will increase the capacity of gas exports from Takoradi to Tema, through the West African Gas Pipeline.

Housing
Under the Affordable Housing Programmer, 1,464 affordable housing units have been set up in Borteyman, 1,027 in Asokore Mampong, 312 housing projects completed in Kpone.

Transport

  • Provision of 100 new intercity buses for Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMTL), and an additional one hundred (100) buses for the Intercity STC Coaches Limited.
  • A 68% completion of a ferry landing site along the Volta Lake at Dambai and Dambai Overbank.
  • Procurement of 7 rescue and high-speed patrol boats “to improve safety and security of our maritime domain and inland waterways.”
  • Ongoing construction of a new dedicated container terminal at the Tema Port.

Security

  • Procurement of five (5) sets of extrication equipment, and two (2) hydraulic platforms.
  • Procurement of 735 additional police vehicles, including15 operational buses.
  • Construction of 320 housing units for the police service “to reduce the accommodation deficits of the Service.”
  • Procurement of Modern communication equipment, and fragmentation jackets to protect officers and ensure effective policing.
  • 99% completion of hangers for 4 police helicopters.
  • Establishment of a new K-9 unit with thirty (30) dogs and thirty (30) police officers.
  • Monthly allowance to crime officers to support their investigation.
  • 98% completion of 84% apartment units being constructed at Odorkor for the Immigration Service.
  • 60% completion of 800 inmate capacity remand prison at Nsawam.
  • Commissioning of the first four (4) units of four (4) storey blocks of sixteen (16) flats under the Barracks Regeneration Project.

International Relations
According to Akufo Addo, Under his leadership, and in collaboration with colleagues in the region, “we have restored peace and political stability to Mali…”
An increase in foreign direct investment of US$2.1 billion in 2020, compared to $1.1 billion in 2019.

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