President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed dissatisfaction about the state of sanitation in the nation's cities, describing it as “wholly unacceptable.”


The President said the nation’s cities had been engulfed by filth and that there was the urgent need for public authorities to find means of making the cities clean and, in the case of the nation’s capital, Accra, fulfil his ambitious pledge of making it the cleanest city in Africa, by the end of his term.


He disclosed that Government had earmarked an amount of GH¢200 million to urgently address the issue of filth, especially in Accra.


President Akufo-Addo, who was delivering the State of the Nation Address on Thursday in Parliament, therefore, tasked the Minister in-charge of Sanitation to urgently give attention to the clearing of rubbish all around the country, while Government systematically resolved to deal with the legacy of inherited debts bequeathed to it in the sector.


“I am confident that by the time I come back next year, God willing, an appreciable improvement would have been made in the sanitation situation in the country,” the President assured.




President Akufo-Addo said his government was on course to make the Takoradi-Paga Railway Project come to fruition and that his Government was in the final stages of signing on with a significant investor on the terms of a Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) Agreement, from Takoradi to Kumasi, which will be presented to Parliament this session, adding that there was already a contractor on site for the construction of the Kojokrom-Manso section of the Takoradi-Kumasi rail line.


The process, President Akufo-Addo indicated, had commenced with the selection of a suitable partner for the construction of the Accra-Tema-Kumasi Eastern Line.


Furthermore, he said, Government would break ground, this year,  for the construction of the Central Spine, from Kumasi to Paga and that consultants had been engaged to advise it on the best model for the development of the line.


President Akufo-Addo disclosed that Ghana and Burkina Faso were also in discussions about the realisation of the Tema-Ouagadougou Railway line.


“There are fortnightly meetings, either in Accra or Ouagadougou and we are confident that deliberations will conclude, and actual construction will commence by the third quarter of this year,” he said.




In the fulfilment of the manifesto commitment of the New Patriotic Party to the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), President Akufo said his government had engaged the various political leaders, including the former Presidents of the country.


According to the President, he was convinced that it was a step that should be taken, adding that the constitutional impediment to this in Article 55 of the Constitution, an entrenched clause, should, therefore, be removed.


He proposed that the constitutional processes for a Referendum should be initiated in such a manner that the holding of the Referendum would take place at the same time as next year’s District Assembly elections to ensure the judicious use of the country’s resources.


President Akufo-Addo said if successful, the outcome of the Referendum would mean that the current set of MMDCEs would be the last batch of Chief Executives to be appointed under the current system.




The President said the successful and meaningful creation of new regions was linked to the improvement upon the transportation system so that no part of this country felt cut off, or could be deemed to be too far from the centre.


That, he said, was one of the most effective ways to stop the unsustainable rural-urban migration.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)