The List of Ten Untruths President Akufo-Addo peddled at 2019 SoNA
The President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo has appeared in Parliament to honour a constitutional obligation; present the State of the Nation Address [SoNA].
Surprisingly, in the discharge of that constitutional mandate, the President peddled blatant untruths.
Even before SoNA, Joy FM’s “Fact Check” program has put out that out of twenty-one  public statements President Akufo-Addo made in 2018, 41% were either false or misleading.
Below is the list of the 10 untruths President Akufo-Addo deliberately or otherwise peddled at the 2019 SoNA;
- 1. The President on affordable housing project in Ho: “Mr Speaker, …. this is a long-standing problem that gets worse with each passing day. It is time to tackle the issue and find a resolution. We are starting with the completion of the many abandoned projects dotted around the country. A consortium of local banks has raised 51 million dollars to fund the completion of the social housing units started by the Kufuor administration in 2006 at Koforidua, Tamale and Ho.”
Fact! There is no affordable housing project anywhere in and around Ho.
- 2. President Akufo-Addo on maize import in 2018: “thanks to the programme for “Planting for Food and Jobs”, admirably organised by that outstanding Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, this House stands informed, that, in 2018, exports of food crops such as cassava, rice, yellow and white maize, soya, plantain, cowpea and yam were made FROM Ghana to Burkina Faso, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire in considerable quantities. We had a bumper harvest of produce, and, last year,  we did not import a single grain of maize.”
Fact! Information made available by USAID on www.indexmundi.com, 50,000 metric tonnes of maize, representing over 163% against last year’s was imported into Ghana in 2018.
- 3. President Akufo-Addo’s claim that his government increased UN peacekeeping allowance, saying: “government is pleased to have fulfilled its promise to the Military Personnel by increasing the United Nations Peacekeeping Troops contribution allowances from Thirty United State Dollars (USD 30.00) to Thirty-Five United State Dollars (USD35.00) per soldier per day.”
Fact! At page 150 of the NPP’s own 2016 manifesto, it is clearly captured that the UN peacekeeping allowance was increased from US$30 to US$35 under President John Mahama.
Quoting the exact statement from the manifesto, “the NPP, under President Kufour, in keeping with our tradition of enhancing the welfare of military personnel, increased the troops contribution allowance normally paid to the soldiers from US$16 to US$27 a day, an increase of about 69%.
President Mills increased it it by 11% to US$30, President Mahama increased it by just US$1 to US$31, being a mere 3% increase, in all a total of 14% increase over the 8 years of the NDC government. After announcing the US$1 increase, it was rejected by the military personnel, and under pressure, John Mahama was forced to increased it by another US$4 to US$35.”
- 4. The President’s claim that Deep Deepwater Tano Cape 3-Point block discovery was under his government. That, “there has been good news with the recent announcement by Aker Energy of one of the biggest oil finds in Africa. Mr Speaker, this has led me to think that an NPP government must be good for Ghana. After many, many years of our looking and almost giving up, it took an NPP government to discover oil in 2007. In eight years of NDC administration, 13 oil block deals were signed, and not a single one was developed. The first one signed in 2017, under my government, which was Aker, has led to the second biggest oil discovery in Africa. Enough to make a believer of anyone, I might say.”
Fact! “the exploration period for the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Point Block was seven (7) years. As such, the exploration license expired on 18th July 2013. During the exploration period, the Operator (Hess) had acquired a total of 300 Sq. Km of Seismic data, drilled eight (8) Exploratory wells and made seven (7) successive discoveries; Five (5) for oil and two (2) for gas between 2011 and 2013. This translates into about 87.5% success rate of discovery,” Ranking Member on Mines and Energy Committee, Hon Adam Mutawakilu stated.
He added that, what Aker Energy did since 2018 and after the ITLOS ruling, was drilling Appraisal wells based on Hess’s acquired data to determine the commercial nature of the discoveries that were made by Hess in 2012 and 2013.
- 5. President Akufo-Addo on recruitment of over 14,000 Nurse Assistants into the Health service and that “to deliver healthcare to Ghanaians more efficiently, in 2018, Government granted financial clearance for the recruitment of eleven thousand, one hundred and eighteen (11,018) health personnel to increase existing clinical staff. To augment the efforts of clinical staff, in September, 2018, the Ministry of Health received further financial clearance to employ fourteen thousand, five hundred and twenty-four (14,254) Nurse Assistants (Clinical and Preventive). These nurse assistants belong to the tranche that passed their exams in 2016 from Government Health Training Institutions, and have commenced work by 1st February, 2019. The Ministry of Health is working to obtain financial clearance for the recruitment of the 2017 and 2018 graduates.”
Fact! The President of the Coalition of Allied Health Professionals, Bright Bell told Citi FM that nurses who graduated in 2016 have still not been posted.
“We have completed in 2016 and 2017 and we are still at home. So if they talk about arrangements for our junior colleagues to be cleared, then we are at a loss because we are still waiting for our clearance. I think that facts must be laid bare so that we can all understand the situation,” he said.
- 6. The President’s promise to make Accra the cleanest City in Africa and his new twist that sanitation in the country has improved significantly. According to him, “last year, I reiterated before you my pledge of improving sanitation in the country, and making Accra the cleanest city in Africa, by the end of my term. There has been a significant improvement in sanitation, even though, I acknowledge, more can be done.”
Fact! The country’s sanitation issues had actually worsened; everywhere is engulfed in filth and this is at a time we have a whole Ministry created to oversee Sanitation matters.
Because of the pile of filth everywhere including waterways, the least rainfall causes massive flooding in the national capital and some of the regional capitals.
Just 3 days ago, the media was awash with the shameful incidents of filth engulfing the frontage of no mean a place but the seat of government, Flag Staff House and the military officers mess.
One also recalled the out of frustration tweet from the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana over filth always being generated and left in the High Commission’s vicinity which attracted the Sanitation Minister’s attention which he quickly gathers janitorial workers to clean.
- 7. Mr President stating that “One-District-One-Factory” policy has taken off contrary to the promise to deliver 51 functional factories by December 2017. According to him, Mr. Speaker, the “One-District-One-Factory” policy has taken off, and 79 factories under the scheme are at various stages of operation or construction.
Fact! What is at “…various stages of operation or construction?” Anyway, as the records on “One-District-One-Factory” captured in the 2017 budget statement have it, the Akufo-Addo led government promised to have 51 functional factories by December 2017, 60 factories in 2018, not a single factory has been constructed, completed and operational anywhere. All the factories we have seen the President commission are existing factories.
- 8. H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo’s promise to procure ambulances for health care delivery.
Fact! The President’s indication at SoNA is that the ambulances would arrive in June. Veep, Dr Bawumia in a report carried by “Daily Graphic” indicated same ambulances would arrive in April but NPP communicators are claiming the ambulances are already in the country.
- 9. Much earlier than that, the President has contradicted himself on some other critical matters including the Cathedral project;
Fact! “the National Cathedral idea was proposed by the Clergy last year. My government is only facilitating it at no cost to the tax payer.” He said in June 2018.
At another time [December 2018], he said “the Cathedral was a personal vow I made to God prior to the 2016 elections.”
- 10. President Akufo-Addo’s claim that President Kufour started Wa water project.
Fact! The $51.54 million 3.3 million gallons per Day Wa water project was initiated by the NDC administration. The sod cutting was done by H.E. John Mahama in February 2013 for works to start. The project was jointly funded by the Korean Exim bank and the NDC Government to be constructed over a period of 36 months.
Source: Koku Mawuli Nanegbe