The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, says the Government has not engaged in reckless borrowing and expenditure over the past six years.
Rather, the current administration, he said, could be proud of its spending on avenues that inured to benefits of citizens in terms of providing social amenities and basic infrastructure.
“Yes, I have been in a hurry to get things done, and this includes massive developments in agriculture, education, health, irrigation, roads, rails, ports, airports, sea defence, digitisation, social protection programmes, industrialisation, and tourism.
“We can be justifiably proud of the many things we have managed to do in the past six (6) years,” he said when he delivered the State of the Nation address in Parliament on Wednesday.
He said it was worth noting that, “the debts we are servicing were not only contracted during the period of this administration.”
He said the Government during the peak of COVID-19 on the African continent had to make decisions which based on science were the most reliable and trusted ways to save lives and livelihoods at the time.
Though these decisions, he said, might look unnecessary and strange today, criminality or reckless spending cannot be ascribed to measures such as fumigation of public spaces, provision of GHS518 million in grants and loans to Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) and preparing and distribution of hot meals to the vulnerable in society.
“In dealing with the crisis generally, I did not meet anyone brave enough to suggest that considerations of money should be a hindrance to anything we needed to do in the fight against the virus,” he said.
The President also noted that the importance of not losing public confidence during the challenging times led the Government to ask for the audit of the COVID funds.
“And I can assure this House that nothing dishonourable was done with the COVID funds. The responses from the Ministers for Health and Finance, on January 23 and 25, 2023, respectively, have sufficiently laid to rest the queries
from the Auditor General’s report.
“Mr Speaker, no auditor can put a figure on the cost of keeping the children in school safely during that crisis, nor the continuing cost of the effect of the pandemic on our young people; not the financial cost, not the emotional cost, and certainly not the social cost,” the President said.