President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has on the eve of Christmas urged Ghanaians to reflect on the many blessings that God had showered upon the country in the course of 2019.
“Let us also take a moment to reflect on our country, and how far God has brought us, and the many blessings, especially, freedom, peace and stability he continues to shower upon us,” the President said in a Christmas and New Year message to Ghanaians.
The President noted that Ghana had “good reasons to be thankful to God for the modest successes we chalked over the course of 2019”.
“1.2 million of our children have today unfettered access to senior high school education, the highest enrolment in our history. We have revived our healthcare system; we’ve had bumper harvest of food stuffs in years of succession, with food prices at their lowest in years.
“Tens and tens of thousands of teachers, workers, and graduates have been given jobs. We have retooled and re-equipped our Police Service and Armed Forces to a considerable extent. Our economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world his year, and we are the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa,” he said.
Making reference to the banking sector reforms, President Akufo-Addo said though the government had to take the “painful but necessary measures” to sanitize and save the banking system, it was worthy of note 6,500 jobs were saved as a result, instead the 10,000 that could have been lost in addition to the protection of funds of 4.6 million depositors.
“Thus far, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana have worked to together to guarantee payment of 100 percent of depositors and customers of the failed institutions which is being done,” he said, assuring that the ministry and the Bank of Ghana were working to ensure the deposits of customers of micro finance, savings and loans companies whose licenses have been revoked are paid them.
“Investigations into potential criminal conduct are proceeding as it appears there’s been a massive diversion of assets of these financial institutions….I assure you that the outcome of these enquiries would be made known soon, as well as the actions that would be taken to bring those responsible to book,” he said..
With 2020 being declared by his administration as the “Year of Roads”, President Akufo-Addo indicated that Ghanaians would see major improvements during the year, as work was ongoing in all parts of the country on the road network.
Also in 2020, systematic measures would be undertaken to strengthen the country’s accountability institutions to enhance the fight against corruption.
The President in the message rallied the citizenry to rise to the occasion again and reinforce the status of Ghana as a beacon of democracy on the continent, as the nation prepares for yet another democratic journey next year.
“Next year is another important year in our democratic journey; we will hold in December 2020 the eight general elections in the history of the fourth republic. We all have a duty to conduct ourselves in such a manner that we have a free, fair and transparent election that will enable the Ghanaian people choose in peace and serenity the person and persons who will manage the affairs on their behalf.
“The country is by no means out of the woods yet but there is a growing sense of confidence that with hard work and determination Ghana will make it, and collectively, secure our futures,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo further urged all and sundry to reaffirm their faith, hope and trust in God during the yuletide, and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ “safely and responsibly and avoid anything that would put our lives, that of our loves ones and others in harm’s way.”
“Let us be a blessing in the lives of those in need and through our actions, bring good cheer to all”, he said, and asked those from the Diaspora who had come to Ghana to celebrate the “Year of Return” to enjoy the famed, warm Ghanaian hospitality and colourful heritage.
“May the celebration of Christmas bring joy and may the new year usher in a new era of blessings for you and everyone dear to you,” he said.