On March 9, Akufo Addo presented his State of the Nation Address 2021, in which he outlined plans of his government for his second term in office.
SONA 2021: Highlights of Government’s plans for second term
Most businesses last year faced a harsh blow from COVID-19, ranging from a reduction in revenues, to total shutdown of some businesses. As part of Akufo Addo’s agenda to support businesses and revitalize the economy, he instituted the Ghana CARES program. Under this program, the government plans to establish the National Development Bank which is expected to provide financial support to businesses in Ghana.
SONA 2021- Health
In the area of health, the government plans to;
- Secure 17,006,000 COVID vaccines by June with more to be procured in the course of the year.
- Establish fourteen (14) medical waste treatment facilities across the country to help address the safe disposal of medical waste.
- Construct 100-bed District Hospitals in one hundred and one (101) Districts with no hospitals, seven (7) Regional Hospitals for the new Regions, including one for the Western Region, the construction of two (2) new psychiatric hospitals for the Middle Belt and Northern Belt, respectively, and the rehabilitation of Effia-Nkwanta Hospital.
These projects are being undertaken under the Agenda 111 initiative.
SONA 2021- Agriculture
Under agriculture, the government plans to continue with such initiatives as Planting for Food and Jobs, Rearing for Food and Jobs, the 1-Village-1-Dam initiative, 1-District-1-Warehouse policy, establishment of greenhouse villages, revitalisation of the cocoa rehabilitation program, and the reactivation of our aquaculture industry.
The establishment of the Tree Crops Development Authority is also underway to end the over-reliance on cocoa and develop other cash crops such as cashew, cotton, mango, oil palm, rubber, and shea.
SONA 2021 – Education
- Government plans to increase Tertiary Enrolment Ratio from the current 18.8% to 40% by 2030, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields, with emphasis on engineering.
- Government plans to continue with the development of twenty (20) STEM centres and eight (8) model Science Senior High schools across the country. All will be fitted with state-of-the art equipment and laboratories.
- Government plans to implement the Ghana Jobs and Skills project this year which according to Akufo Addo seeks to “expedite the development of competency-based training curricula on the National Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Qualification Framework for one hundred (100) trades/professions from level one (1) (National Proficiency 1) to level five (5) (Higher National Diploma) as well as training some twenty-five thousand (25,000) beneficiaries and provide entrepreneurial support to about fifty thousand (50,000) individuals.” “It will also seek to implement the Ghana Labour Market Information System, and upgrade of district public employment centres and services,” Akufo Addo further added.
- The government also plans to continue with its construction of 32 TVET institutions across the country.
- Also, the government plans to continue facilitating the acquisition of 208,000 laptops for members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) this year.
From 1st April, the government plans to make all National ID numbers, Tax Identification Numbers thereby increasing the number of people registered by GRA for tax purposes. The number of registered persons under GRA for taxation will increase from 3 million to 15.5 million.
from the 2nd quarter of 2021. The government also plans to make all National ID numbers SSNIT numbers. This will increase the number of people on the SSNIT database from 4 million to 15.5 million.
This according to Akufo Addo will make it easier for new contributors to be enlisted on the scheme.
Also, National ID numbers will become NHIS numbers. The government also plans to link the National ID to all SIM cards, bank accounts, Births and Death Registry, DVLA documents, and passports.
Building on the “Year of Return” initiative, the government through the ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the Ghana Tourism Authority is working towards another initiative it calls, “Beyond the Return.”
The government is negotiating with Independent Power Producers that will provide power to the Ghanaian populace at an affordable cost.
Construction of a gas processing plant-train is underway in the Western Region to complement the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, to increase dry gas delivery for power and non-power users.
Akufo Addo in his effort to ensure “the promotion of gender equity and equality, survival and development of children, as well as the harmonization of social protection interventions” appealed to the House, on both sides to take a critical look at the Affirmative Action Bill which will be resubmitted to the house by the new Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome Kwabenya.
The government plans to continue its projects in the inner cities and zongo communities with such projects as the construction of classroom blocks, Astro-turfs, establishment of ICT centres, installation of streetlights, entrepreneurial and vocational skills training, supporting needy students, and the rehabilitation of access roads and drains.
Also, the government plans to complete the Multipurpose Pwalugu Dam project which is aimed at mitigating the regular floods that occur in the White Volta basin as well as add sixty megawatts (60MW) of hydropower and fifty megawatts (50MW) of solar power to the national grid.
The government plans to mobilize some US$2 billion towards the development of railway infrastructure and services.
The government has also signed a €500 million contract for the construction of a standard gauge railway line from Manso to Huni Valley.
The government plans to establish a home-based airline.