Here are some points discussed at Nana Addo’s media encounter…
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, January 18, 2017, held his first media encounter at the Flagstaff House in Accra after six months in office. The first media encounter according to the President, is a less stressful way for his government to put out its message.
Nana Addo was in the presence of many journalists in his first media encounter. The President made a few remarks, as a way of accounting to the people and opened himself up for questions from the journalists. The President’s interaction with the media is a continuation of a culture that was started by President John Kufuor when he won the 2000 election.
Nana Addo’s Media Encounter
Nurses and Teacher training allowances
President Nana Addo, during the interaction, announced that the Nurses and Teacher training allowances have been reinstated to take effect at the start of the new school year.
On the issue of taxes, the President reiterated the recent abolishment of ‘nuisance taxes’ by his government.
President Akufo Addo lamented on the challenges experienced by his government towards alleviating the problem of unemployment which has plagued the country.
Young people are very anxious about not finding jobs, and their parents are even more anxious about the future of their children after seeing them through school
On this issue, Nana Addo said his government has introduced a number of innovative interim packages to help, job seekers in finding a new path in entrepreneurship. Nana Addo dwelt on the launching of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP) -an innovative scheme, under the Business Development Ministry, to help start-ups.
This will soon be tagged ‘underway’ according to President Nana Addo. The NPP government he said, has doubled down on the actualization of the I Factory 1 district policy promised Ghanaians prior to the 2016 elections. Nana Addo during his campaign had promised to establish one factory for each of the districts across the country; to create employment as well as boost the country’s economy.
According to Nana Addo, the Asempa Budget which the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented in March, has allocated an amount of $100 million dollars for the establishment of the 1-District-1-Factory policy. He also said that an additional amount of $340 million has been leveraged from local financial institutions for the program.
More funds have also been made available for the government for the purpose of the initiative. According to the President, government, in collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries, has arranged a Suppliers Credit Facility for $2 billion from China to provide equipment, machinery and other facilities in support of the program.
The agricultural sector was not left out during Nana Addo’s media encounter. The President said that extension officers have been employed, by the government to provide hands-on support to farmers.
To help boost the agricultural sector, the President had also promised one-village-one dam during his campaign. For the purpose of its actualization, Nana Addo said that the scheme is taking off in the three northern regions with the rehabilitation of the existing ones that are in sad states of disrepair.
The Agric programme Planting for Food and Jobs, initiated by the government, has registered 185,000 farmers out of the 200,000 targeted. In this programme, the government will bear 50% of the cost of fertiliser for farmers; and to date, 80,037 tonnes of fertiliser has been distributed to farmers enrolled. These farmers have been provided with tonnes of seedlings amounting to 35,700 metric tonnes.
Galamsey (Illegal Mining)
Nana Addo’s government through the Cabinet Committee, headed by the Minister for Environment, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, is fighting tooth and nail to curb the menace of illegal mining in the country.
In this regard, Akufo-Addo dwelt on Vice President Dr Bawumia’s trip to China for the purpose of leveraging Ghana’s bauxite deposits to tackle the programme for industrialisation and the building of roads and other infrastructure.
Bearing in mind the backlash regarding government involvement with the Chinese, Nana Addo stressed that his government is neither against mining nor against Chinese. He maintained that government against the degradation of lands and water bodies by Chinese galamsey operators and others.
During Nana Addo’s media encounter, he spoke about voluntary groups within the NPP; like the Delta Force vigilante group, who have dented the image of the party in recent times. On that, the President said he has communicated clearly to the law enforcement agencies, that the best way of dealing with such incidents is to let the law take its course without any political interference.
He also talked about the horrific mob justice which led to the lynching and murder of late Major Mahama, by Denkyira Obuasi residents. The President used the opportunity to sound a note of warning to citizens to leave the prosecution and punishment of suspected criminals to the Police and the Judiciary.