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SONA 2024: Minority Chastises Akufo-Addo For Failing To Talk About Unemployment3 min read

SONA 2024: Minority Chastises Akufo-Addo For Failing To Talk About Unemployment<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">3</span> min read</span>

The Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has criticised President Akufo-Addo for not outlining measures to curb unemployment in the State of the Nation address he delivered to Parliament on Tuesday February 27.

He noted that unemployment is at a critical challenge facing Ghanaians, yet the President was silent on how to address it.

His comments come after Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin said that his side of the House was prepared to debate the Minority on the State of the Nation Address delivered by the President.

He said this while moving a motion for the debate to be scheduled for Wednesday.

“We are ready to debate Mr President’s message, considering the situation we find ourselves as a country, we are ready to debate this message now. However as has been the practice, members will want to prepare, I noticed the Minority Leader was writing his notes.

“We will face him with optimism and remind him of the lamentations of 2014 and 2015.”

He further asked the Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson to second the motion to debate the address on Wednesday, he said.

Dr Forson, after criticising the president said  “I second the motion.”

The speaker, Alban Bagbin accordingly adjourned the sitting to Wednesday February 28 after the ‘eyes’ won the voice vote for adjournment.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo among other things, stated that the 1992 Constitution has entrusted executive powers into the hands of the president.

To that end, he said “the buck stops with the president. He or she takes the blame for the challenges.”

President Akufo-Addo said this while delivering the State of the Nation address in Parliament on Tuesday, February 27.

He stressed that the president takes the blame for all the challenges the country is facing.

He said “The president and his appointees are not universally loved, and it will be strange and unproductive if they were. It is probably worthwhile making what I consider to be important observations at this stage on some of the issues in our public discourse, in the lead up to the elections for a new President.

“Under the Constitution, the executive power of the state is vested in the President of the Republic. He or she is the Executive. There is no ambiguity about where the buck stops, when it comes to responsibility for what happens in the government. It stops with the
President, he or she has ultimate responsibility. It would be an unwise President that would pretend to have all the answers, and refuse the advice of his officials, but the fact remains that the President holds the executive power.

“The Cabinet, the Ministers of State all act in an advisory manner. Of course, a member of the government might take an idea, be it generated by the President or the official or a committee, and turn it into a huge success, and the honours would be claimed or shared where public perception falls. But, ultimately, the President is responsible, and, therefore, takes the credit or the blame for whatever happens in his or her government.
Let me make a second point. The programmes that come from the Executive benefit from the rigorous public examination and debates to which they are subjected.”

His comments come at a time when Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said that the Economic Management Team (EMT) which he heads does not have decision-making powers.

Dr Bawumia said the EMT only advised the cabinet.

As head of the EMT, he had been blamed for the economic challenges that Ghana is facing.

But delivering his address at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on Wednesday, February 7, Dr Bawumia said “Thankfully, I was appointed as chair of the EMT, as a sub-committee to Cabinet we do not have decision-making powers, but I am very proud of the quality of advice we have been providing over the years to Cabinet.

“As vice president, I was asked by the president to assist in solving the problems that were inhibiting the economy. my approach was to help formalize the economy through digitalization as stated in our 2016 manifesto,” he explained.