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DDEP a necessary evil; capital projects will not stall under it, Akufo-Addo assures Ghanaians

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has asked Ghanaians to be patient with his administration as it restructures the country’s debt through the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), announced last year by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The DDEP, the president says, is a necessary evil if the government is to revive the economy, which has taken a heavy hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war that broke out on 24 February 2022.

President Akufo-Addo made this call as he addressed a delegation of paramount chiefs from the Western Region paying a courtesy call on him at Jubilee House in Accra today, 30 January 2023.

Capital projects
The president assured the chiefs that his government is working hard to secure board-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a financing plan. Nevertheless, he said, ongoing capital projects will not stall when the government does finally secure IMF funding.

Akufo-Addo conceded that some projects are experiencing funding delays of some sort, due largely to the economic climate and Ghana’s negotiations with the IMF.

He said the country’s representatives at the negotiating table with the IMF team are ensuring that all capital projects that the government has embarked on over the past six years, but which are yet to be completed, will be executed fully.

“Please be patient with my administration and know that the restructuring of our debts, both domestic and international, is aimed at securing the economic future of the country. If we do not do it now, it will bring our nation enormous challenges in the not-so-distant future,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“There will be some temporary delays [with ongoing capital projects] while we negotiate with the IMF, which is what we are experiencing now.

“But at the end of the day, we will get an arrangement that allows us to continue the projects,” he said.

Public education on the DDEP
The leader of the delegation and Omanhen of the Nsein Traditional Area, Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, commended the president for his countless visits to the Western Region and for his commitment to its development.

Commenting on the government’s debt exchange programme, Awulae Agyefi Kwame II said the Western Regional chiefs endorse the steps being taken by the Akufo-Addo government to restructure Ghana’s debt.

However, he said, they are of the considered opinion that very little is being done to educate the public, particularly in the Western Region, which would enable ordinary Ghanaians to understand and appreciate the government’s agenda in proposing the DDEP.

He urged the president to deploy technocrats to the Western Region and the rest of the country, as a matter of priority, to educate citizens on the DDEP and the benefits that will accrue to the economy if the programme should be successful.

Members of the Western Regional House of Chiefs

The delegation
The delegation led by the Nsein Omanhen also included Awulae Annor Adjaye III, Omanhen of West Nzema; Awulae Angama Tu-Agyan II, Omanhen of Gwira; and Awulae Attibrukusu III, Omanhen of Lower Axim.

The other chiefs present were Nana Kwesi Agyeman IX, Omanhen of Lower Dixcove; Osabirma Kwaw Entsie II, Omanhen of Mpohor; Tetrete Okuuamoah Sekyim II, Omanhen of West Amenfi; and Nana Kwabena Nketsia V, Omanhen of Essikado.

Four MPs from the Western Region were also present at the meeting. They include Andrew Egyapa Mercer, the MP for Sekondi and deputy energy minister; Dr Prince Hamid Armah, the MP for Kwesimintsim and former head of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA); John Abari Sanie, the MP for Mpohor; and Samuel Erickson Abakah, MP for Shama.

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