Former President, John Dramani Mahama believes that despite being in power for over two years, the government does not have much to show for it, if yesterday’s State of The Nation Address was anything to go by.
Speaking to Accra-based Radio Gold, Mr Mahama described President Nana Akufo-Addo’s speech as “too futuristic” and excessively focused on what the government plans to do and not enough on what it has done.
“Normally the State of the Nation speech must inspire a certain confidence in the people that government is on track and these are the major programmes that government is going to be embarking on during the year.
“If you look at the statement that was given yesterday – I think I will not be the best person to judge because of my own prejudices – but I think it was a bit too futuristic; ‘Government will do this, we want to do that’. After two years in office. I thought there would be some more solid things to point at. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much there. It was more about ‘we intend to do this, we’re going to bring this’.”
He stated that despite the indications given by the President in his address that the country was on a more solid footing economically, many Ghanaians were not won over by his assurances, given their comments following the presentation.
He also noted the comments by a group of unemployed nurses disputing claims made by the President that the government has recruited more than 14,000 graduate nurses.
“I listened to the post-address commentary as well and you can see that ordinary Ghanaians were looking for some things that they didn’t find in there. At Abossey Okai, they were looking for some relief in terms of import duties and other high fees and levies but they didn’t find it there. If you spoke to nurses and teachers, they were looking to hear something about their plight in terms of unemployment and in terms of allowances and opportunities for them.
“People have even started contradicting some of the things the President said. [He said] 14, 000 nurses have been employed but just this morning I was looking online and the nurses association says it’s not true. I think if you listen to the after-commentary, whoever put the speech together could have done a much better job. The purpose of such a speech was to lift the spirits of the nation and I don’t know if Ghanaians really felt lifted. “
Nana Akufo Addo delivered his 3rd State of The Nation Address on Thursday, touching on a number of sectors including health, education, sanitation, sports and the economy.
The former President however says some of the claims made by President Akufo-Addo in the address were mistaken, including suggestions that the recent oil discovery was made under the current government.
Mr Mahama added the improved macroeconomic indicators are as a result of the work put in by his administration
“Even in some cases, the President was misinformed, there were quite grievous mistakes in there. For instance, Aker’s oil field, they attributed the fine to their government but the discovery was made by Hess in 2013. Aker just came in and did an appraisal and bought into the field. My government did quite a lot to bring in the kind of revenue that his government is receiving.
“We worked on the TEN field, I inaugurated the FPSO Atta-Mills, we ordered the FPSO John Kufuor; all that work was done under NDC. Happily, for the President, all the revenues came after 2017 so he has enhanced oil revenue because of what we did. Much of the good macroeconomic figures we are seeing are because of the work we did.”