Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reiterated his government’s commitment to establishing the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) – which will serve as a vehicle to allocate $1 million to each constituency for infrastructural development.
According to him, the Fund will be administered by three (3) development authorities, namely, the Coastal Belt Development Authority, the Middle Belt Development Authority and the Northern Development Authority.
The Bill for the establishment of these Authorities, the President revealed, is expected to be laid before Parliament when the House reconvenes later this month.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at a meeting with the Ghanaians resident in Cote d’Ivoire, as part of his 3-day official visit to that country.
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“This year’s budget contains the money for the 1 million per year per constituency policy, the financial provision has been made. However, because my government and I are accountable to the Ghanaian people, we want to be diligent in everything we do. I do not want a repetition of the scandals that rocked SADA (Savannah Accelerated Development Authority) to befall my government and the three development authorities we want to establish,” the President said.
He continued, “So, I will plead with you and the Ghanaian people, who are eagerly awaiting the commencement of this policy, to exercise a little patience as we seek to do the correct thing. It might even be the case that, once the bill is laid before Parliament, some may even suggest improvements to the bill. But, at least, we have made provision in this year’s budget for this policy to begin.”
He told the community that his development agenda was hinged on modernising agriculture to enhance its productivity; a clear industrial policy, and rationalising the financial sector so that it supports growth in agriculture, and growth in manufacturing and industry.
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He noted that the recently launched ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ program would address the twin-problem of the migration of youth to city centres in search of non-existent jobs.
He said, the program will also end the ‘disgraceful’ spectacle of Ghana importing food stuff from neighbouring countries.
Nana Addo said that “in 2018, we will employ 2,000 more extension officers, with the solemn pledge of employing more graduates from our Colleges of Agriculture in the subsequent years.”
On the economic front, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government has introduced measures to stimulate growth of the private sector. Amongst others, a monetary policy that will stabilise the currency and reduce significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts, he said, have been put in place to bring relief to businesses, with the aim of lowering the cost of doing business and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production.
“To this end, we want to make quality basic education, i.e. education from kindergarten through to secondary school, accessible to all of Ghana’s children. Beginning with the intake from the 2017/2018 academic year, parents will no longer bear the cost of taking their children to secondary school. Free SHS is coming from September 2017.”
Akufo-Addo further gave assurance that he would engage the Electoral Commission to ensure a full implementation of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL), to enable Ghanaians outside the country exercise their franchise in local elections.