President Nana Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed the need for
every Ghanaian who has or will attain voting age to endeavour to register when
the Electoral Commission (EC) commences the compilation of a new voters’
register for the 2020 general election.
He said it is more of a ‘civic duty’ than just a ‘mere event’ for eligible
voters, as the process would enable the electorate to choose the person and
persons they want to manage the affairs of the nation on their behalf.
The EC’s decision to compile a new voters’ register has incensed members
of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have been
demonstrating against the decision, using threatening and
intemperate language to dissuade the commission from going ahead with the
The President, delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA)
yesterday in Parliament, Accra, said, however, that “government, together with
all stakeholders, is determined to ensure that it (registration) is peaceful
and orderly, so that our people can make their choice in freedom and serenity,
and exercise their civic duty of helping to elect a government of their choice
on 7th December.”
“We should all commit ourselves to uphold the reputation of our nation as a
beacon of democracy, and we expect the media to help lead the way in that
regard,” he emphasised.
Highlighting some of the things his government had done, President Akufo-Addo
said, “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.”
“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,” he added.
He concluded his speech with the words, “Our nation is in good
health and in good, competent hands!” and it came with spontaneous applause
from the audience.
President Akufo-Addo expressed the commitment of the NPP government
to improve conditions of service of all security personnel, including the
“The government has retooled and equipped them to keep them in the
desired state of readiness,” he said.
On the controversial illegal mining popularly called ‘galamsey’, the
President said, “The Inter-Ministerial Committee, along with Operation
Vanguard, was determined to disrupt ‘galamsey’ activities, by confiscating pieces
of equipment that were employed in these activities. In this regard, 12,000
“changfan” machines that go on the river and scoop up the riverbed were seized
and destroyed on site.”
Even though he said some excavators were also seized, he admitted to
the fact that a number of them had gone missing, but said “the police have
arrested and charged some of the alleged culprits, and investigations are
He insisted that “no one involved will be shielded, no matter what
their positions or political colours are.”
He highlighted activities in the railway industry, saying “we are
making significant and verifiable progress in the railways sector” with the
rehabilitation of some of the old narrow-gauge lines that have been pressed
back into service.
“The Tema to Accra line has been operational for two years, and the
Accra to Nsawam line would soon be. The Takoradi to Tarkwa line was inaugurated
few weeks ago, and is proving to be very popular and being enthusiastically
patronized,” he said.
“There are other suburban lines that will soon be brought into our
everyday lives. Those are exciting, of course, but the big one remains the Tema
to Ouagadougou, or, to put it less dramatically, the Accra to Paga line” and
that “what started as the Tema to Paga railway line has become the Ghana to
Burkina Railway Interconnectivity Project. Approximately 800 kilometres of this
rail line will be in Ghana, and 200 kilometres in Burkina Faso,” he disclosed.
“Cabinet has approved the final route for this line. The
approximately 100-kilometre Tema to Akwamu Mkapadan line is the first section
of the Tema to Ouagadougou rail line. At the environs of Juapong, a branch line
from Tema to Mpakadan will continue through Hohoe, Nkwanta, Dambai, Yendi,
Tamale, Walewale, Nalerigu, Sheini, Bolgatanga and then to Paga as the
remaining 700 kilometres of the Tema to Ouagadougou railway line,” he added.
Year of Roads
With the year 2020 declared as the Year of Roads, the President said the backlog of debts owed to contractors is being cleared, and many of them are able to go back to the jobs to finish them and that a list of some critical roads had been drawn up and work had started on them.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent