The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take immediate steps to reduce the size of his government in order to help lessen the burden of the country’s current economic hardship.
The National Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, delivered what the NDC dubbed, “the true state of the nation” address at a ceremony at the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPAS) yesterday. He stated that the current size of the government was evidence of the waste of scarce resources by the government.
He accused the President of making ridiculous and superfluous appointments, including about 20 appointments to the seat of government for positions such as Youth Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs; Policy Associate; Chief Executive of Public Sector Reforms; Overseer of the National Cathedral and Church Relations Manager, among others.
The two-hour-long event was grandly attended by NDC members and executives, as well as former government appointees, including Felix Ofosu Kwakye, former Member of Parliament, Sylvester Mensah; Kofi Totobi Quakyi, and aspiring flag bearer of the NDC and former Minister of Finance, Dr Kwabena Duffuor.
It was held to counter President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s address on the State of the Nation, delivered to Parliament about two weeks ago in fulfilment of Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.
Laying down the matters at hand, Mr Nketiah alleged that the President “desperately attempted to put an upbeat spin on a truly dismal national situation”, hence the decision by the NDC to present to the public what it deemed fit as the true state of the nation.
“Hopelessness, recklessness, corruption and leadership paralysis define the current state of our nation,” he said.
Among other things, he said the true state of the nation was one where childhood vaccines were in short supply leading to a measles outbreak; a draconian debt restructuring programme for the first time in our entire history; and one that had forced Pensioner Bondholders to engage in a historic public manifestation as they picketed at the Ministry of Finance; as well as a cruel financial haircut never before imagined.
These he said, had become normalised features of this reckless regime.
“The true State of the Nation is when a ball of kenkey which used to sell between 50 pesewas and GH¢1.00 in December 2016, is now being sold between GH¢4.00 and GH¢5.00. The true State of Ghana today is that, a sack of maize which used to sell for GH¢170.00 in 2016 is now being sold for GH¢900.00 as of February 2023. The true State of the Nation is when a bag of Gino Rice (5kg) which used to go for GH¢25.00 in December 2016, is now being sold for GH¢185.00,” he explained.
Touching on corruption, the NDC National Chairman said the President’s silence on corruption in his address was loud.
“It was as loud as his guilt. Evidently, corruption has defeated his family and friend’s government. Instead of confronting this canker head-on, President Akufo-Addo has constituted himself into a ‘Corruption Clearing Agent’, ever-willing to whitewash himself and any of his appointees who dabble in corruption, even before investigative processes commence,” Mr Nketiah said.
He added that, “the President’s actions and complicity have emboldened many of his officials, not least the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, whose name has come up in multiple corruption scandals such as the PDS scandal, the shady Gold-for-Oil deal, the Stolen Rice scandal, and the ‘Appearance Fee Scandal’.