The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, has replied the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference over their recent criticisms of the government.
Addressing the press at the Jubilee House, Arhin, who speaks for President Nana Akufo-Addo, said the government is tolerant of divergent views on how the country is being managed but the criticism from the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference should be well-founded and grounded in fact.
Most Rev. Philip Naameh, the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference had said that “the expressed commitment of the president of the republic to protect the public purse, a promise that citizens welcomed, seems to be an illusion now” and wen ahead to raise some concerns about the government of Akufo-Addo.
But Eugene Arhin who disagrees stated “In as much as this administration is extremely tolerant of divergent views, and welcomes criticisms of its work, we believe these criticisms should be well-founded and well-grounded in fact, as this is the only way an honest conversation, devoid of malice and propaganda, can be held.”
President Akufo-Addo, he noted, took office in January 2017, and, again, in January 2021, and pledged to protect the public purse.
“…And that is exactly what he has done, and continues to do. Indeed, the transformation that has taken place in all aspects of national life point to an economy that has been well-managed, a public purse that is being well-protected, and the benefits are showing,” he averred.
“Indeed, if President Akufo-Addo had superintended over the wanton dissipation of public funds, the Ghanaian people would not have reposed their confidence in him by returning a decisive margin of victory for him in the 2020 elections. Free SHS, which now guarantees a minimum of senior high school education for all Ghanaian children, and has already granted access to SHS to over 400,000 more children, would not have been possible if the public purse was not being protected,” he added.
To him, the agric project, Planting for Food and Jobs, which he said has brought 1.5 million farmers into its orbit enjoy subsidized inputs of fertilisers, seeds, insecticides and other inputs, and has ensured that Ghana no longer imports food like tomatoes and plantain from neighbouring countries, would not have been possible if the public purse was not being protected.
“Today, through the prudent use of public resources, 104 factories, through Government’s 1D1F initiative, are operating, and are providing jobs for thousands of unemployed youths,” he said.
Arhin went on, “150 more factories are under construction, and the remaining 24 are at the mobilisation stage, and would provide more jobs for residents of the districts, particularly our youth. If, indeed, the protection of the public purse was a mirage, the Akufo-Addo government would not have found the means to employ hundreds of thousands of teachers and medical professionals, who, before the coming into office of this administration, were sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.”
“NABCO, which has brought relief to some 100,000 graduates, would not have been feasible if the public purse was not being protected. The effective roll-out of the National Identification Card has seen some 15.6 million Ghanaians issued with identification cards, up from the 700,000 issued under the 8-years of the Mahama Government. This Government has found the resources to undertake the largest construction of road infrastructure in Ghana’s history. Ghana, under President Akufo-Addo, has, recently, been adjudged as the best place to do business in West Africa,” he stressed.