As President Nana Akufo-Addo presents his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament today, the main expectation of Ghanaians is about the government addressing the high unemployment situation.
Citizens expect the President to provide clarity about his administration’s job creation interventions towards fighting unemployment, particularly graduate unemployment which has been described as a national security threat.
A cross-section of Ghanaians interviewed by ADR Daily for their expectations from the SONA said they looked forward to realistic plans towards addressing the unemployment menace.
Most of them believe not much has been achieved regarding job creation from the government’s flagship programmes such as the “One District, One Factory” and “Planting for Food and Jobs.”
“I believe the government is paying lip service to employment issues. Otherwise, we should all be seeing the results by now,” said one of the respondents, Stephen Ntim, an exporter of agro products.
Mrs Barbara Eshun, a nurse, expects the President to be sincere with Ghanaians so that the government can secure the support of the citizenry towards creating sustainable jobs.
“Where is the one district, one factory they promised? Not a single one has been built to help address the rife rural-urban migration by the youth,” said Franklyn Sarpong, an entrepreneurship consultant.
The high expectation about jobs comes in the wake of the President’s inability, during his recent media encounter, to indicate how many jobs have been created under his administration.
It also follows controversy about the claim by the Minister of Food and Agriculture that some 745,000 jobs have been created under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The Minority in Parliament challenged the jobs claim, which the Minister announced a few days after the President’s media encounter, describing it as “misleading” and a “big joke of the year.”
The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) also doubted the claim, describing it as an over exaggeration. It demanded proof of the jobs said to have been created.
The threat from graduate unemployment became highly visible last month when about over 15,000 people out of the 84,000 applicants, turned up at the El-Wak Stadium for a recruitment exercise by the Ghana Immigration Service which projected to select only 500.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has revealed that the SONA would be heavily focused on jobs and the economy.
In Accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, the president is expected to deliver the state of the nation address to Parliament to inform Parliament and by extension Ghanaians about the state of the country.
It will be his second state of the nation address after assuming office in January 2017.
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com