Flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has described President John Dramani Mahama’s ‘evidence-based’ State of the Nation Address as an embarrassing exercise that shows mediocrity. According to Nana Akufo-Addo, while he celebrates the success stories of the persons displayed by the president as proof of his government’s successful policies, they do not constitute the reality of the nation. “For every LEAP beneficiary that allegedly now has ten pigs, I can point to ten hardworking individuals whose businesses have collapsed. For the 16 people bused to Parliament, we can fill the Ohene-Djan Stadium with thousands of the young unemployed from Osu, La, Teshie etc. In fact, the President failed to present the group who really benefited from his government: Woyome, looters of SADA, GYEEDA and Bus Branding amongst others,” he added. During last week’s State of the Nation Address, President John Mahama purposely brought to the chamber persons who he said had directly benefited from government’s social intervention programmes. In response, Nana Addo on Monday said the president’s address showed that he was out of touch with Ghanaians.
“It is obvious the President did not want to tell us the true state of the Ghanaian Economy. This is the good-news-story-telling President. Factual account stories do not interest him. If they did, he would have told us that economic growth for 2015 is projected at 4.1. He could not tell those businesses that are relocating to Cote d’Ivoire that they should continue to engage in Ghana.” Nana Addo said even though the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has borrowed some US$37 billion in the past 7 years, it has failed to truly transform lives. “Ghana is now at a high risk of debt distress. Government increased the debt stock from GHc9.5 (2008) to GHc99B currently. Last year, interest payments amounted to more than GHc9.6 billion, more than the total debt stock of GHc9.5 billion at the end of 2008.” Touching on the economy, Nana Addo stated that the four-year power crisis has led to cumulative losses of more than “3 billion dollars and thousands of jobs.” “Coca-Cola, Mantrac, Cadbury, Novotel, Golden Tulip and several others have been forced by the cost of dumsor to lay off workers,” he revealed.