General News Fri, 13 May 2022

What Ghanaians expected vrs what they got – 6 years into Akufo-Addo’s government

The presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commenced on January 7, 2017, after a third consecutive attempt in Ghana’s general election.

With such long period of consecutive campaigns came a plethora of promises that made the government of Akufo-Addo perhaps the one with which the Ghanaian electorate held its highest expectation for under the Fourth Republic.

Between 2008 and 2016, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on the ticket of the NPP, went to the Ghanaian electorates. Their wide range of campaign promises led Ghanaians to give the president and his vice a first four-year term in 2016 and renew the tenure of the duo again in 2020.

Some six years into what is now meant to be 8-years of the Akufo-Addo Bawumia era, current circumstance has led to some electorates questioning the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia campaign promises against it deliverables.

GhanaWeb lists below some Ghanaian electorates expectations of the Akufo-Addo government based on promises made by same, and what the situation is currently, some six years on.

Being a listening government

A member of the ruling New Patriotic Party’s communication team, Ellen Ama Daaku speaking in a recent interview said “I believe this government is one of the best listening governments we have had,” she goes on to add that “We are all Ghanaians and we all feel what is going on but these issues were inherited.”

Her statement may be correct in the right context; however some Ghanaians will hold a contrary position in the face of recent developments.

The current economic crisis in Ghana has led to various concerns being expressed about the posture of the government.

For many, it is in these times of such cries that the traits of a listening government are manifested.

In its bid to impose a 1.5% levy on electronic transfers, objections were raised by many Ghanaians who cited the possibility of such a levy compounding on their economic hardship.

But largely, the government’s response to the concerns has been focused on the objections of the opposition National Democratic Congress to the E-Levy, which the government argues is aimed at gaining political points and favour.

Aside this, there have been many reports suggesting government’s subtle intolerance for media criticism and scrutiny.

It has largely been said that this government, through some of its actions, has promoted the ‘culture of silence’ compared to their predecessors in other governments.

Price hikes

“It is important we begin to bring down the cost of food in Ghana. We pay too much money for ordinary food in Ghana. You live here so you know the price of food here compared to Ghana. This is because our agriculture is not working,” this was President Akufo-Addo speaking to some Ghanaians living in Togo a few months after he had assumed office in 2017.

His statement followed similar comments made on various campaign platforms all of which attributed such developments to bad leadership under the government of the current opposition party, the National Democratic Congress.

The current picture under President Akufo-Addo however is bad if not worse. Inflation in Ghana is currently at its highest in the last 18 years.

There is reported daily increment in prices of goods and services with some items such as building materials recording between 40-70 per cent increment in the last years under the current government.

Other daily items such as foodstuffs have over the last few weeks seen a day-by-day increase leading to various concerns. Now basic items such as roasted corn, sanitary pad, bread, kenkey and bathing soap are selling at very expensive prices.

The cost of transport has since gone up by several margins with the recent increment being a 20% increment on fares announced by some driver unions.

Utility service providers such as the Ghana Water Company Limited, the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Ghana Gas Company have all proposed significant hikes in their tariffs.

Cedi depreciation

The performance of Ghana’s cedi over the past few years has become a subject of concern to the Ghanaian trading and business community.

The cedi between 2017 and 2022 has largely depreciated against all the major currencies including the dollar and the pound sterling.

In 2016, then NPP Flagbearer promised to change things and bring the cedi depreciation situation under control. At the time, the cedi was trading at 4.72 for a dollar.

In one of his tweets, decrying the situation and promising Ghanaians a better solution, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said,

“The current cedi depreciation of the Ghana Cedis against the U.S Dollar is because of BAD leadership. We should not be where we are today to buy dollar for 3.72. VoteForChange #ChangeNow”

Today, against other currencies such as the Chinese Yuan, the cedi which was trading for some 1.18 to the Yuan in mid-2021, is currently hovering around 9.0.

Cost of fuel

”I have seen how drivers, both private and commercial, struggle to pay for the high prices of fuel and insurance premiums. #VoteAkufo-Addo”

Does this tweet from then NPP Flagbearer Akufo-Addo on December 5, 2016 ring a bell?

How about that of his then running mate; Dr. Bawumia in a similar tweet on December 3, 2016 that said,

”To the taxi and trotro driver who has been hit by [the] high cost of fuel and insurance, you have a chance to #VoteForChange”?

These were tweets of assurance that the situation which was burdensome on Ghanaians on the time will improve if they voted for change.

Its however difficult to say that ‘change’ is what we see in today’s situation because currently, the cost of fuel under the current government as compared to before it assumed office has significantly increased.

Whereas a gallon of fuel sold for about GHC16 in 2016, the current price for a gallon of fuel is around GHC37 at the pumps and 9.35 per litre for petrol and 11.24 for diesel.


Then opposition candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo campaigned heavily against burdensome taxes in all his three elections before winning power on the third attempt.

Among other things, the erstwhile government was accused of saddling Ghanaians with taxes and levies on the back of which a promise was made to the populace of a new dawn of less taxes under an Akufo-Addo administration.

“During the NDC administration, taxes were even imposed on condoms and cutlasses. This has increased the burden on the private sector and is a disincentive to production. To address these challenges, the NPP will shift the focus of economic policy away from the taxation to production. So, we are going to move away from taxation to production.”

The above was a note made by now Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia highlighting portions of the NPP’s manifesto in 2016.

Despite this promise, government taxes and levies have seen an increment over the last six years whiles the government further introduces new taxes.

The latest of the taxes introduced by the Akufo-Addo government is the infamous 1.5% levy on electronic transfers (E-Levy).

The implementation of the E-Levy began on May 1, 2022.

The government of Akufo-Addo in its 2022 budget announced an increment in government service charges by a margin of 15%.

Charges for government services such as vehicle registration and drivers’ license issuance by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), birth and death certificate issuance by the Birth and Death registry, passport issuance by the Passports Office among others have all since gone up by 15%.

Government’s response

Meanwhile, the government on its part has sought to address the concerns of citizens about the Akufo-Addo government including their expectations.

The government has largely cited the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent and ongoing Russia-Ukraine war for the economic challenges in the country.

For the government, the current economic situation is not peculiar to Ghana alone as the world over including countries with bigger and stronger economies suffering from the “global economic” challenges of the current time.

View their Timepaths below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
Related Articles: