YESTERDAY, PRESIDENT Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was his personal best when he took questions from journalists at his media encounter held at the Banquet Hall of the Flagstaff House.
The President, for more than two hours, stood his ground and answered questions the cut across various facets of the Ghanaian economy.
He touched on sports, security, education, trade, job creation, governance and agriculture among others.
On the economy, President Akufo-Addo said the macroeconomic fundamentals had seen improvements through improved fiscal and monetary discipline.
He said real Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) had rebounded, recording a growth of 9.3% in the third quarter of 2017, against the 3.5% figure for the same period of 2016.
Latest information indicates that inflation is at 11.8%, down from 15.6% at the end of December 2016.
He noted that the debt situation had improved, with annual average rate of debt accumulation of 36% in recent years declining to about 13.6%, as at September 2017.
As a result, the public debt stock as a ratio of GDP is 68.3%, against the annual target of 71% for 2017, and end 2016 actual figure of 73.1%.
“Boring figures, I know, but believe me, they spell good news for the economy. Thanks to these boring figures, for the first time in a long while, we have been able to give better budgetary support to the constitutionally mandated institutions that hold government accountable, i.e. Auditor General, Parliament, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Economic and Organised Crime Office, and the Police.
“Thanks to the same figures which mean improving macroeconomic fundamentals, we have been able to transfer some GH¢3.1 billion of Tier 2 pension funds into the custodial accounts of the pension schemes of the labour unions, funds that have been outstanding for six years, and about which the labour unions had been loudly complaining.”
On agriculture, the President said government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ campaign, which registered over 200,000 farmers in the 2017 crop season, had been a big success.
“I am particularly excited about the institutional sub–programmes, where 20 Senior Technical High Schools, National Service Scheme and the Prison Services were supported to cultivate their own farms.”
In all, the President painted a picture of hope for Ghanaians.
But, intelligent questions asked by some seasoned journalists in the country portrayed the downside of the country which needed to be worked on by the administration.
Ultimately, Ghanaians are the better judges of the performance of the economy. For us, the exercise, if for nothing at all has added colour to our democratic credentials. We, thus, salute the President for availing himself to the people of Ghana.