Majority of Ghanaians are in high hopes as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected today to deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), Today can report.
The state of the nation address is a constitutional obligation enshrined in Article 67 of the 1992 constitution which requires heads of state to address Members of Parliament (MPs) at the beginning of each session.
President Akufo-Addo in his maiden state of the nation address after assuming the reins of government, January 7, 2017 assured Ghanaians that his government would implement policies that “will eradicate corruption and ensure sustainable growth”.
The President also admitted that he was like a man in a hurry.
“Mr. Speaker, I am indeed, in a hurry, I am in a great hurry. The times, in which we live, demand that we, all, be in a hurry to deal with the problems we face”, President Akufo-Addo was reported to have said.
But one year down the lane, a cross-section of Ghanaians have said, they are yet to feel the impact of the numerous campaign promises the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised them during the electioneering.
Speaking in an interview with Today ahead of today’s state of the nation address, some residents in Accra although lauded the NPP’s government for implementing some of its flagship programmes like the Free Senior High School (SHS) and Planting for Food and Jobs, they were of the view that much need to be done.
For instance, some spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai said, “ we are not feeling the positive impact of the removal of the so- called “nuisance taxes ” they (NPP) talked about. It is important the president tells us something good today so as to rekindle our confidence in the government”, they said.
According to them, the talking was becoming too much and, “want government in its second year in office move quickly into action by dealing with all alleged corrupt officials in the past administration”.
One Kwame Adusei who deals in Toyota car parts was not happy with the slow pace the government was working towards in retrieving monies allegedly stolen by individuals and institutions.
He was also equally not happy with “the rate at which the Cedi is depreciating against the major currencies”, and asked the president to tell Ghanaians the plans of its government to stabilize the cedi.
The story was not different when our reporters visited Makola and some market places in the capital city.
At Makola, the traders complained of economic hardship, saying, “there hasn’t been any difference since the NPP took over government”.
Their primary concern was about the security situation in the country which they said the president should seriously address it.
They however, commended President Akufo Addo for implementing the Free SHS which was a major campaign promise of the NPP in 2016.
“I Can’t say Nana has not done anything. For him to implement a major policy in his first term is a big achievement but he must also ensure our safety because the killings are becoming too much”, Maame Donkor a cloth seller told Today.
For the various transport unions and commercial drivers, the NPP government was being too economical with the truth as far as fuel prices were concerned.
They were optimistic that, the president will today address the rampant increases of prices of petroleum products.
The residents of the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, where it is perceived to be the stronghold of the ruling government, according to our reporter, were not left out in the frustrations of the government.
At Asafo Market, the traders bemoaned the high cost of living and, appealed to the president to do something about in his second term in office.
“I’m full supporter of Nana Addo, so I feel bad when people complain about the economy. I know the president can do it and, that is why I’m urging him to do something quickly”, Kofi, Amponsah, a dealer in electrical parts said.
“ I also want the president to use his second term to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth who voted for him”, he added.
Story: Today Reporters
Today Newspaper (Ghana)