Brouhaha Over COVID Expenditure; Akufo-Addo Replies Critics

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Akufo Addo Presents Sona
Akufo Addo Presents Sona

President Akufo-Addo has mounted a strong defence for the government’s continuous borrowing and spending in the wake of the current economic challenges.

Critics in recent times have laid the country’s current economic crisis solely on the doorsteps of President Akufo-Addo. NDC MP for Yapei-Kusaugu John Jinapor for instance said the crisis is due to his government’s unprecedented and reckless borrowings.

But in a sharp response, the President said his government has done nothing but spend money on “things that are urgent”.

“We have not been reckless in borrowing and in spending. It is worth noting that the debts we are servicing were not only contracted during the period of this administration”, Mr Akufo-Addo said while delivering the State of the Nation Address on Wednesday (8 March 2023) stressing that: “We have spent money on building roads and bridges and schools, training our young people and equipping them to face a competitive world.

“Considering the amount of work that still needs to be done on the state of our roads, the bridges that have to be built, considering the number of classrooms that need to be built, the furniture and equipment needed at all stages of education, considering the number of children who should be in school and are not, considering the number of towns and villages that still do not have access to potable water.”

“I dare say no one can suggest we have over-borrowed or spent recklessly,” he added.
He admitted that he may have been in a hurry to get things done, but he is proud of the amount of work he has done, especially in the road sector.

“This includes massive developments in agriculture, education, health, irrigation, roads, rails, ports, airports, sea defence, digitisation, social protection programmes, industrialisation and tourism. We can be justifiably proud of the many things we have managed to do in the past six (6) years.”

“As I go around the country, I hear the pleas for roads, schools, hospitals, and, as the rainy season comes, I wish, as every other Ghanaian does, that we would have built more drains than we have. And I wish we had the resources to do more. Roads constitute the largest number of questions asked in this House by Members of Parliament; a large amount of the monies we borrow are for road construction. Shall we dare stop constructing roads?” he quizzed.

The President further stated that his government has built more roads than any government in the history of the 4th Republic.

“The details of all these roads are attached in the annexe to this message. I have done so because, last year, when I made a similar pronouncement, I was met with howls and gasps of incredulity from the Minority benches, and so I thought it appropriate, this time, to present it as an annexe to the Statement, which will be part of Hansard.”

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