Feb 25, 2013 at 11:44am
Prez Mahama’s State Of The Nation Address
COMMENTARY ON THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA
President Mahama indeed met the expectations of most Ghanaians with his glittering speech yesterday when he delivered his first State of the Nation Address to Parliament following his election in December 2012. The address covered every blade of the turf as far as the Ghanaian economy goes. What was most heartwarming was the down to earth nature of the President as he laid bare his heart to Ghanaians. The President was candid on the state of health of the economy. His allusion as to having sleepless nights over the country's energy situation must elicit the sympathy of every Ghanaian. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown they say. Indeed no leader worth his salt will eat a good meal whiles his people suffer under the prevailing water and electricity shortfalls. Water and electricity are basic necessities of life and any destability in these areas is likely to send the people murmuring. It is unfortunate the Minority has chosen to stand up to be counted when the going has become tough. The walk outs by the Minority from important national occasions are becoming one too many. They continue to turn their back to the nation when their inputs are most needed. It is true they have grievances over the December election results but their mode of tackling them is quite disheartening as they keep shirking their responsibility to the people who elected them. It is not worth enjoying at the expense of the tax payer for services not rendered. President Mahama's call for unity and togetherness to meet our urgent needs is a striking message. We need to remind ourselves of the Adinkra symbol called Funtum Mireku Denkyem Mireku, a mythical two headed crocodile sharing a common stomach - we need unity in diversity.
President Mahama seems to be alive to his campaign promises as he outlined programmes aimed at fulfilling them. The address contained a lot of positives which give cause for hope. His vision of building an economy with a growth rate of eight percent looks quite ambitious but achievable. Also worth noting are government's plans to facilitate the establishment of an Industrial Development Fund to save ailing industries. Industrialization is the hub of development. With mass unemployment starring the nation in the face, it is worth revamping our industries to offer jobs to the teeming youth. Government's focus to work towards sustaining production in the cocoa industry through the payment of at least 70 percent of the world market price to the farmer, the distribution of 20 million hybrid seedlings free of charge are quite thrilling. Equally worth applauding is the on-going two million dollar ammonia-urea based fertiliser processing plant in Nyaakrom in the Western Region. The Ghana-India government project shows how committed government is to boosting agriculture which is the mainstay of the economy. Another area the President harped on in his address which is quite reassuring and invigorating is the media. President Mahama gave the assurance to hasten the passage of the Broadcasting bill so that national standards for the media can be established. Again moves towards operationalising the Media Development Fund which will help improve capacity in the media landscape is quite heartwarming. The current state of amateurism within the media set up is killing the industry and eroding all the gains made.
The State of the Nation Address paves the way for the presentation of the budget statement and fiscal policy of government for the year. It hoped pragmatic measures will be put in place and policies fine-tuned to shape the economy further. The recent upward adjustment in fuel prices has hit the people especially the rural dweller so hard, thus the need to initiate pro-poor measures to initiate the cost of adjustment. Efforts must be made to cast the tax net wider since only a few people are alive to their tax responsibilities. Construction work on the national data center must be accelerated so that reliable and realistic statistics can be computed to help plan the economy. The State of the Nation address identified the hydra-headed challenges confronting the nation and possible solutions to them. Let’s work assiduously towards marshaling resources to push the Better Ghana Agenda forward United we stand, divided we fall
BY: JUSTICE MINGLE, A JOURNALIST.