“We have done much more than we inherited, we are creating conditions for young people to have hope again, and we are determined to do more. Things are working in Ghana, and Ghana is surely changing. Mr. Speaker, our nation is in good health, and in good, competent hands!”
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, 20th February, 2020, when he delivered his fourth Message on the State of the Nation, in Parliament, Accra.
Confident that his Government has a good story to tell in many areas, the President explained that “once derelict State Enterprises have been revitalised. Let me list a few: State Housing Company, Ghana Publishing Corporation, Ghana Post, GIHOC, State Transport Company, Ghana Maritime Authority have all been given a new lease of life, and are functioning with greater efficiency, and becoming again profit centres.”
Digitisation, he added, has also led to a remarkable improvement in the delivery of public services.
“We are all greatly relieved, for example, that the hassle has been removed for those who want to get passports. We are equally relieved that DVLA offices are no longer the nightmare places they used to be, and we can get driver’s licences without having to go through ‘goro’ boys. I have not had the experience myself, yet, but I am assured that the STC has been transformed, and it is now a pleasant experience to travel on their buses,” the President said.
He continued, “SSNIT has given a guarantee that when people apply for their pensions, they would get them within two weeks. I am told most people get them within ten days, a far cry from the sad, disgraceful and humiliating experience that pensioners used to go through to get their pensions.”
President Akufo-Addo, further, told the House that his Government has implemented a digital property address system which gives an address to every location in Ghana
“We now have the first of its kind mobile money interoperability payment system in Africa; the port operates a paperless clearance system; business registration is now online; we can now buy electricity units on our mobile phones; and e-justice system has been implemented at the courts. This process of digitisation is also helping to curb corruption,” he said.
For the first time in many years, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana has a fully functioning emergency response and ambulance system.
With the procurement of 307 ambulances, with one assigned to each constituency, he indicated that each ambulance has a tracker that determines its location instantly from the command centre.
“The emergency number, 112, has also been linked to the Ghanapost GPS system, such that if any call to the number is made using the Ghanapost GPS app, emergency services will know the exact location of the caller instantly. We are employing drones to deliver emergency medical supplies in remote areas, and, today, Ghana has the largest medical drone delivery service in the world!” President Akufo-Addo said.
Despite the achievements of his Government, he acknowledged that “we still have some way to go to reach the Ghana we want.”
Recounting his first Message on the State of the Nation to Parliament, where he said “I was not elected by the overwhelming majority of the Ghanaian people to complain. I was elected to get things done. I was elected to fix what is broken and my government and I are determined to do just that,” the President added that his Government has done just that.
“We have fixed the broken economy, we have delivered Free Senior High School education, we have brought the National Health Insurance Scheme back to life, we have revamped our agriculture, we have sanitised the banking sector, our industrial transformation is on, we are digitising the economy, and Ghana continues to be at peace,” he said.