The Government of Ghana has implemented various creative ideas and programmes to improve the current economic crisis in addition to conversations with the International Monetary Fund on steps that must be taken to deal with the country’s challenges.
For example, the Gold Purchase Programme by the Bank of Ghana and the Gold for Oil Policy are some creative uses of Ghana’s resources, which are already bearing fruit.
Delivering a message on the State of the Nation on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo disclosed that these policies are aimed at preserving foreign exchange, especially the US dollar and stabilising the price of oil products such as petrol and diesel on the domestic market.
“We have already seen some success on both fronts with the price of US dollars and petroleum products falling since we announced the policy and began to implement it,” he added.
The average price of petrol at the pump, which had risen to 20 cedis a litre, in the middle of December 2022, is now GH¢13.80 a litre. Likewise, the price of diesel which had risen to more than GH¢23.70 a litre same period is now selling on average at GH¢13.80) a reduction of almost 10 cedis a litre.
The government, the President indicated, expects this trend of falling fuel prices to reflect soon in people’s daily lives, since transport fares affect the price of everything.
He hoped that the trend of prices going up and coming down become a regular feature of “our retail economy as is being demonstrated in the fuel prices. Because, as we all know, prices, especially of petroleum products, used only to go up in our country.”
On the security situation at Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso, President Akufo-Addo expressed worry about the extraordinary expenditure and resources to keep the country’s borders safe.
“We dare not compromise on the safety and security of our nation,” he stated adding: “my first responsibility as your Commander-In-Chief is to keep all of us safe. The foundation for all development is the safety and security of our nation and its people.”
The threats of terrorism and violent extremism surrounding Ghana, according to the President, “require that we pay maximum attention to protecting our borders, and working in collaboration with our neighbours to keep our country and the Region safe.”
That, he indicated, is the prime motive for the Accra Initiative, which is already yielding results.
President Akufo-Addo cited some of the equipment the government has provided the military to help them protect the nation.
The Army has received 104 armoured personnel carriers; 70 utility troop carrying vehicles; 20 armoured vehicles; 85 assorted Toyota vehicles; 50 Ankai buses; 40 Jeep J8 vehicles; some Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) equipment; large quantities of communication/surveillance equipment; varying quantities of weapons and 4 un-maned aerial vehicle systems; and the Ghana Navy has taken delivery of 4 offshore security vessels and 4 Zodiac boats.
In addition, the continued process of upgrading the housing needs of the security services—Barracks Regeneration Project Phases I and II, the Military Housing Project Phases I and II and the Ghana Military Academy Infrastructure project, are expected to be completed and handed over by the end of May this year.
“Mr Speaker, we continue to pay attention to the Police Service. We can now see more of the police on our streets in the urban areas. Ever so gradually, driving on our roads is becoming more orderly.
“504 housing units, comprising 72 one bedroom and 432 self-contained units have been completed for the Police Service.”
Recently, the President delivered 100 pickups, 600 motorbikes and 6 armoured personnel carriers to the Police Service to boost operational capacity.
“…and for the first time in our nation’s history, the Police Service has dedicated helicopters to help with their operations,” he ended.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD