Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Prez Akufo-Addo delivers SONA today

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today, February 27, 2024, deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament in Accra. 

This is in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, which mandates the President to deliver a message on the State of the Nation to Parliament at the start of each session and before the dissolution of Parliament.  

The SONA serves as a means for the President to provide an overview of the current state of the nation. 

Tuesday’s SONA will be President Akufo-Addo’s penultimate before his tenure ends on January 7, 2025, having served two terms. 

The SONA is expected to touch on many aspects of the economy, including infrastructure, economic recovery programme, peace and security, education and the upcoming 2024 elections.  

The President is also expected to provide an update on major policies and programmes in the past seven years, including the Free Senior High School (SHS) initiative, Planting for Food and Jobs (II), as well as the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative. 

With the Ghana Statistical Service’s (GSS) 2023 Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey indicating that unemployment for the first three quarters of 2023 was 14.7 per cent, it is expected that he will provide an update on the government’s social policies such as the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), YouStart, which are major interventions initiated to address unemployment. 

Ahead of the SONA presentation, some key industry players, as well as Ghanaians, shared their expectations with the media, in critical areas of the economy, including, energy, transportation, education and trade. 

Nana Amoasi VII, Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Security (IES), expects the  President to outline plans for reviving the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and issues of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).  

“We want to see that the price of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) will be made affordable for consumers. Over the past three years, we’ve seen a surge in the use of wood fuels including charcoal. It means that people are compelled to fall on those carbon-intensive fuels because they appear cheaper and accessible mostly to rural folks,” he said. 

“If they can look at the LPG and remove some of the taxes and levies to make it affordable, it can increase the penetration of this fuel,” he noted.  

He also urged the Government to address the growing debt in the power sector to ensure an effective and regular power supply.  

“We want to know if the Government is still interested in private sector participation in the power sector as a conduit for solving some of the challenges of ECG,” he indicated. 

Nana Amoasi said he looked forward to the Government announcing strategic plans to boost investment in the sector, particularly in the face of energy transition.  

Mr Abbas Ibrahim Moro, Public Relations Officer, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), said he wanted the Government to scrap the emission levy, saying, “we are already paying tax on every litre of fuel we buy”. 

Georgina Sackey, a final year student at the Accra Technical University, said she wanted the Government to highlight what it was doing to expand technical and vocational training and to make education more practical.  

“Doing so will help the young people to create their own jobs, thereby reducing unemployment, and we’ll be able to provide the country with more skilled-labour,” she said.  

Kelvin Frimpong, a private sector worker, said he expected the President to give account on how youth unemployment had been tackled, particularly the number of jobs that had been created by his government and the impact on the lives of young people.  

“The Government keeps saying they have created so many jobs. But a lot of people keep complaining that there are no jobs. So the President should address that,” he added.  

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