The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured Asanteman, and, indeed, the people of Ghana, that the pledges he made during the electioneering period were not mere campaign platform talk, but are pledges that will be fulfilled during his tenure of office.
According to him, the fulfillment of these pledges remain the surest way to creating jobs and wealth for the people of Ghana, as well as returning the country onto the path of progress and prosperity.
“I made a lot of pledges during the campaign. We have started fulfilling them. The Free Senior High School policy will commence from September 2017. So you should know that what I said during the campaign was not political talk. Yesterday, in Parliament, the ‘Asempa’ budget became law. The Appropriations Act has been made, so there is financial provision for Free SHS in the budget,” he said.
The President continued, “Ghanaians should know that I did not lie to them during the campaign, in order to get their votes. Whatever I said I was going to do, I will do.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at the commencement of his 3-day tour of the Ashanti Region, in a meeting with transport unions and transport owners in the Ashanti Region, at the Kumasi Cultural Centre.
“We said we were going to reduce taxes, which had become a burden on businesses and was stifling productivity. We said were going to reduce import duties on imported spare parts. The first budget has removed taxes on imported spare parts in our country. We have also abolished a number of other taxes,” he stated.
This was met with a rapturous response by the packed hall at the cultural centre, with many expressing their appreciation for the gesture by the government of President Akufo-Addo.
The President assured the various transport unions gathered that “a review of the laws governing the transport sector is ongoing. We will make sure there is a proper licensing and proper registration system in place, which will protect all of us. I am giving you that assurance.”
He also reiterated his government’s commitment towards the provision of the requisite infrastructure for businesses of the transport unions and transport owners to thrive
With the Easter festivities on the horizon, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the spate of accidents and causalities that have characterized the Easter celebrations over the years.
“Let us make it our priority that this year’s Easter will see a drastic reduction in the number of accidents and fatalities on our roads. Everyone should observe the rules of the road, and make this Easter the best in terms of a reduction in accidents and causalities on our road. It is a major concern of mine. Help me make this a reality,” he added.
Taskforce harassing market women
In a separate meeting with the leadership of market women and Kayayei at the same venue, the market women lamented their rampant harassment by several “taskforce operatives”, who demand extra tolls from them, even after they have paid the requisite taxes to the Assembly as stipulated by law.
This, they, said was hampering their businesses, and one of the reasons for the increase in prices of goods, as they are forced to pass on these costs onto the consumer.
President Akufo-Addo, in his response, indicated that this practice was unacceptable and stated that, together with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Metropolitan Chief Executive of Kumasi, Osei Asibbey Antwi, the activities of these taskforces will be regulated and those operating illegally clamped down.
He thanked the market women and Kayayei for their support in the run-up to the December 2016 election, and appealed to them for their continued support throughout his tenure of office.