President John Dramani Mahama says Ghanaians did not elect him to take “popular decisions”.
According to him “leadership and popularity aren't the same thing.Often, one has to make decisions which may not endear you to people”.
President Mahama made this comment when he responded to questions from the media at the Flagstaff House on Tuesday.
“They are tough decisions... I don’t take pleasure in imposing taxes on people... I don’t, but the alternative is worse, so I must take decisions that are in the national interest... that benefit might not be seen immediately but in future people would see what benefits we have accrued,” he opined.
Mahama also assured Ghanaians that his government will take projects through more due diligence to ensure that we get value for money.
“We may have different opinions, but we are all on the same side. We are all on the side of Ghana.” he said in his concluding remark.
“I'm sure that the election will go well. Ghana continues to be the beacon of democracy in Africa,” President Mahama added.
What President Mahama said about corruption :
The Attorney General has saved Ghana hundreds of millions of dollars, as part of judgement debt, in defending us - @JDMahama
The Attorney General is working hard to retrieve the money that has been lost in corruption scandals - @JDMahama
Countries where the media are oppressed and can't speak out will obviously have a lower perception of corruption - @JDMahama
Corruption is often measured by perception. The perception of corruption is often greater than the reality - @JDMahama
We mustn't wait for corruption to occur before fighting it. We must put in efforts to prevent people from doing it - @JDMahama
We must follow due process in the investigations into alleged corruption - @JDMahama
Corruption doesn't were a political face. It is about systems and strength of institutions - @JDMahama
Addressing issues on the new taxes introduced by government and over-burdening Ghanaians with taxes, Mahama said the following:
Not every decision I make will be popular. I wasn't elected into office to take popular decisions - @JDMahama
We aren't overtaxing people. It's an investment into improving the lives of Ghanaians - @JDMahama
Part of the Energy Sector Levy goes into the Road Fund for the fixing of bad roads - @JDMahama
If I had the money, I would pay all the debt VRA owes - @JDMahama
To improve the power sector we must deal with the debt of the service providers - @JDMahama
The debt accumulated by the utility provides has choked the credit lines of the service providers - @JDMahama
Even with the introduction of the Energy Sector Levy, we are still below the deregulation point - @JDMahama
We have lost billions of cedis in the national kitty following the drop in the world prices of crude - @JDMahama
Addressing a question on the “dumsor” menace or load management Ghana is experiencing; President Mahama said the following:
We are very close to solving the problem of dumsor and most people can see the improvement since Christmas - @JDMahama
In a short while we'll be able to solve dumsor. I've decided to leave timelines to the professionals - @JDMahama
We have sufficient generation. The major issue now is the provision of fuel - @JDMahama
We are fortifying the power sector most in terms of generation and distribution - @JDMahama
We are inviting private involvement so we have independent power producers coming in - @JDMahama
It's estimated that we lose 25-27% of power because of people who steal it and who fail to pay for it - @JDMahama
ECG is not being privatised - @JDMahama
We are going to invest about $100m into ECG and invite private participation - @JDMahama
We are making efforts to put in an extra 3,000 megawatts by 2020 - @JDMahama
On the proliferation of micro finance institutions in the country, Preisdent Mahama said the following:
The Bank of Ghana needs to improve it's banking supervision; As people involved in politics our first instinct should be to protect the interests of the people - @JDMahama
The Government is getting involved in the issue involving DKM and the other micro finance institutions - @JDMahama
DKM breached the territory it was supposed to operate in and other guidelines involving interest payments - @JDMahama
Question on Employment and Labour issues
With the enhancement of the Single Spine the privately trained nurses want to come into the public service; In the near future the issue of people working for months without being paid will be a thing of the past.
As a result of the removal of the quota system we have more teachers able to go into the colleges of education - @JDMahama
We need to train more healthcare personnel who are specialised in caring for aged people - @JDMahama
The First question asked the president was generally on security of the Ghana; on armed robbery and how his government intends to deal with it. Also, President Mahama was quizzed on the Guantanamo detainees in Ghana.
With the removal of the quota, enrollment in teacher training institution have risen by 63%...; We have started fulfilling the process of setting up a university in every region with 1 in B/A and in Volta Region - @JDMahama
It is necessary to expand access to education so that more people can benefit from tertiary education - @JDMahama
The security sector is an area where Gov't has made great investment; My administration has made a lot of investments in the security sector.
We have done a lot to improve security in the country. The armed robbery rate has dropped significantly he said. President Mahama added that safety is the concern of his government and they are doing everything to ensure people live in safe.
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Touching on the brave taxi driver who rammed into two armed robbers last Saturday, President Mahama noted that in every country, people who show bravery beyond their comfort zones deserves to be awarded.
On the Gitmo detainees and matters arising President Mahama said Ghana did a comprehensive appraisal of the situation when the request came in from the US to take the detainees. The 2 detainees were said to be the lowest risk inmates of Guantanamo Bay… Excessive consultation was done both internally and externally before the transfer was approved – Mahama said.
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There is no monetary consideration. The US would have disclosed it. What they are saying on social media, is absolutely untrue that I collected 300 million. I didn’t take $300 million to accept ex-Gitmo detainees - Mahama
Ghana did a risk assessment after the US made the request for Ghana to take them. These were low-risk people who were picked when they were 20 years old. There was no evidence that they could be charged. Ghana is not the only country that is an ally of the US.
I'm a christian and the Bible teaches us to be compassionate. Where's our compassion to these ex-detainees -Mahama.