Many Ghanaians, including Members of Parliament (MPs) and individuals on the street, have, since last week, been expressing different expectations from the address.
Meanwhile, sources at the Presidency have told the Daily Graphic that the address will focus on the economy, the energy situation and challenges facing the provision of water.
They said the President would also spell out measures being adopted by the government to resolve the bottlenecks in the educational, health and agricultural sectors.
The address will be the second to be delivered by the President since he was elected President in December 2012.
The address was originally slated for Thursday, February 20, 2014 but it was rescheduled for tomorrow due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
It is expected that the President will make references to his first State of the Nation Address which was delivered last year and point out some of the key achievements chalked up by his government.
According to the sources, the President was aware that the socio-economic well-being of the people was a function of the national economy and so he would demonstrate to Ghanaians how far he was determined to continue placing the people at the centre of the development process.
Another source close to the government told the Daily Graphic that the President would focus on how he was going to correct the dysfunctional fundamental structure of the economy which had come under criticism in recent times.
“The President will indicate how he intends to make the Ghanaian economy more export-oriented, as opposed to import-dependent. He will touch on how the government will empower Ghanians to be at the forefront of economic activities,” it said.
In spite of the concerns raised by some individuals and groups about the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG’s) recent directives to arrest the depreciation of the cedi, the President, the source said, would justify why the directives would work to stabilise the cedi.
Mr Mahama would also remind Ghanaians of the huge public wage bill resulting from the full implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy and the cascading effects on the economy.
Apart from the economy, other key highlights in last year’s address, including corruption, infrastructure development and transparent and accountable governance, would be revisited.
The source hinted that corruption, which had become a topical issue in recent times, and the perception in certain circles that the government was doing nothing to fight the canker, would be adequately addressed.
It said President Mahama would touch on what the government had done in the areas of roads, schools, the provision of health facilities, among others.
“He is also expected to mention the Ghana Infrastructure Fund,” it added.
The inauguration of the last phase of the Bui Hydroelectric Power project is something the President will mention, as well as other measures in the offing to add to the national electricity stock.
President Mahama may also express worry over the current load management and assure Ghanaians of efforts to address it in the short term.
The water crisis in the national capital could also receive the attention of the President, especially as residents complain about the difficulties they are going through.
Some residents of Accra had told the Daily Graphic that they expected the President’s address to touch on the perennial water shortage in some parts of the country.
An acute water shortage has hit Accra in the last one week and residents have expressed their frustration at the problem and called on the President to use the platform to explain to the citizenry what the government was doing to fix the problem.
As Ghana prepares to participate in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, President Mahama will surely not overlook it in his address to Parliament.
Credit : Daily Graphic