SONA 2023: Akufo-Addo’s speech fails to impress NDC Minority 

By Iddi Yire

Accra, March 8, GNA – Some National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament have expressed dissatisfaction with President  Akufo-Addo’s 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA). 

Reacting to the SONA, Mr Nelson-Rockson Etse Kwame Dafeamekpor, the NDC MP for South Dayi, described as unfortunate the President’s declaration that the widespread and long lasting  nature of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic clearly showed that the COVID-19 funds were not misused. 

“It was the Government that asked for the COVID funds to be audited, and I can assure this House that nothing dishonourable was done with the COVID funds,” the President had said. 

“The responses from the Ministers for Health and Finance, on January 23 and 25, 2023, respectively, have sufficiently laid to rest the queries from the Auditor-General’s report”. 

Mr Dafeamekpor said it was unfortunate for the President to make a declaration that no COVID Fund was misused, whereas the Auditor-General, who was constitutionally mandated to audit state accounts had indicated, in a comprehensive audit report, had indicated some misapplication of Funds. 

He said the issue of the misuse of the Funds had come before Parliament and that the Speaker had referred same to the committees of Finance and Health for investigation. 

He said the Parliamentary enquiry would also establish the exact state of expenditure related to the COVID Funds. 

Mr Dafeamekpor told the Ghana News Agency that the President dwelled much on history, instead of telling Ghanaians what the situation was in 2022 compared to 2023. 

He critiqued the SONA for talking about okada riders (commercial motorbike riders) now abiding by traffic regulations, saying those matters should have been left for programme managers, while the President  concentrated on critical issues. 

Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Ranking Member, Parliament Health Committee, and MP for Juaboso, expressed worry over the President’s inability to tell Ghanaians  exactly when the shortage of vaccines for the six childhood killer diseases would be resolved and urged the Government to tackle the issue as a national emergency. 

Dr Kwabena Donkor,  MP for Pru East, touching on energy generation, said the stability in the sector, being witnessed by the country, which the President spoke about, was as a result of investments made by previous governments.