President John Dramani Mahama in fulfillment of of article 69 of the constitution of Ghana presented the State of the Nation today [Thursday, Feb 25, 2016].
The following are highlights of President Mahama's State of the Nation address 2016.
President John Mahama during the State of the Nation address to Parliament stated that Ghanaians are living 14 years longer than before due to advancement in medicine, health infrastructure and an increase in health personnel.
“Our life expectancy was a little over 40 years at independence. Today, life expectancy has increased by more than 14 years. This increase is due to advances in medicine, improvements in health infrastructure and the improved number of health personnel,” President Mahama said during his last State of the Nation Address of his first term.
He added: “Not only are we living longer in our adult years, more infants are living to see those years. According to the Ghana Demographic and health survey, there has been a drastic reduction in the rate of infant mortality and under-five mortality.
According to the president, he had fulfilled his promise to Ghanaians of fixing the power challenges that is popularly referred to as ‘dumsor’
According to him, over 800 megawatts of power has been added to the national grid which he said is the “fastest mobilization of emergency power in the history of Ghana.”
“A year ago, I stood before this very august house and promised to fix the power sector deficit that at the time had become a significant constraint to the economic growth and a destruction to Ghanaians both home and at work. This was a time of considerable national anxiety.
“About 800 megawatts of power has been added to our generation within the shortest period of time. Fast-tracking the finalisation and commissioning of KTPP added 220 megawatts, Fast-tracking the commissioning of TICO’s combine cycle added 110 megawatts, mobilizing Karpower added another 220 megawatts, and Mr. Speaker, as I speak, Ameri is adding 250 megawatts extra power to our transmission grid. In addition, 180 of Asogli phase two is also available as soon as we can get extra gas for it.
“But much work still needs to be done to give us the comfort of sustainable generation going forward. I salute the former Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor, and his Deputy Minister John Jinapor and their team of competent technical people. Mr. Armah Kofi Buah and his team at the Petroleum Ministry I salute them.
“I salute the CEOs and staff of the Energy Commission, PURC, Gridco, TICO, Ministry of Finance, ECG and others. It has taken teamwork and the cooperation of many people to achieve this success. I thank all who stood with me to overcome this challenge that our nation faced. I thank this august house for passing the agreements that made it possible for us to procure these additional plants.”
On education, President Mahama stated that 54,800 children in four regions have been enrolled into schools under the Compulsory Education program.
This he said was is in fulfillment of a pledge made by government to absolve the cost of secondary education in Ghana.
The introduction of free secondary education, popularly referred to as "Free SHS" was a contentious issue in Ghana during the 2012 elections, with the population divided as to its implementation. While a section of the public believed that 'Free SHS' will enable many deprived Ghanaians to access secondary education, others expressed fears that it could cause the quality of education in secondary schools to drop.
Central Region – 27, 795 students in 54 schools
Western Region – 38, 751 in 56 Schools
Ashanti Region – 64, 430 from 102 schools
Northern – 17, 648 students out of 45 schools
Brong Ahafo – 38, 751 from56 schools.
Upper East – 1,395 students out of 28 schools
Upper West – 877 students from 23 schools
Eastern – 34,157 students out of 82 schools
Greater Accra – 52,664 consisting of 46 schools
Volta – 36,859 out of 88 schools