No Need To Panic Over Terror Alert –Mahama

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The President, John Dramani Mahama, has urged Ghanaians not to panic over the terror alert released by the National Security.

In an interview with GBC’s Sunrise FM, in the Eastern Region yesterday, President Mahama, said it was unnecessary for the alert to be leaked to the media by the security agencies.

“I think that we must deal with this without creating panic amongst our people and that is why the stories we see in the papers today are most unfortunate.”

The alert letter which was leaked on Wednesday confirmed that, terrorists were planning an attack on Ghana to defuse the notion that only francophone countries, were susceptible to attacks by terrorists.

Portions of the alert read that: “Intelligence gathered by the National Security Council (NSCS), indicates a possible terrorist attack on the country is real.”

The alert also stated that, the terrorists enter a country with their explosives and weapons by concealing them.

“They enter through approved and unapproved entry points. In the Ivorian attacks they reportedly entered from Mali using Niger register 4×4 vehicle. They reportedly concealed their weapons and grenade in the vehicles compartment for spare tyres, padded with cushions and bubbled wraps to keep them stable and prevent noise”.

However, President Mahama, has assured that the nation’s security agencies, were well placed to deal with any form of threat and urged the public to be alert and report any form of suspicious behaviour to the security agencies.

“We are preparing for any such eventuality, but we need the alertness of the public, the public needs to be more alert today than before, if you see any strange person, any strange movement you just need to report to the security services,” President Mahama added.

The president is in the Eastern Region on the second leg of his “Accounting to the People” Tour; a government’s initiative to enable President Mahama, give an account for his stewardship, ahead of the elections in November.

President Mahama, also noted that anybody who claims Ghana’s economy is in crisis is doing so for political propaganda, because his administration, has managed to stabilise the economy, and “we are returning to a period of growth”.

“…If you look at the World Bank report that appeared yesterday, it named Ghana as one of the countries with very high expectations of growth and it said that the prospects of the Ghanaian economy are high, that investor confidence has risen, and that Ghana is entering a new era of prosperity and blossom, and, so,…it shows that Ghana has very good prospects going forward,” Mr. Mahama said.

The President’s comments, come a day after Nana Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of Ghana’s biggest opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), said Ghana’s economy was in crisis and tattered.

Mr. Mahama, however, said there was enough evidence to the contrary. According to him, his administration has reduced the Deficit-to-GDP ratio to below 7.2 percent a decimal notch lower than the projected 7.3 percent, from the 12 percent he inherited in 2012.

This year, Mr Mahama said, “we are going to bring it down to 5.3%, then it means that inflation will gradually come down; we are looking to bring inflation back down to a single digit, then once inflation is coming down, then interest rates will gradually follow, and, so, the prospects look very good and I am very bullish about the Ghanaian economy.”

“If you take the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) [report], they said 2017 and onward is going to be a period of prosperity for Ghana and that is because of the foundation that we have laid, it’s because of the work that we have done, we’ve eliminated a lot of the deficits that were created by huge subsidies on utility tariffs, we eliminated a lot of the subsidies that created huge deficits on the cost of petroleum products, today as I speak, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is running, and producing petroleum products for Ghana, we have enough stock of LPG, our tanks and strategic reserves for petroleum products are all full, and, so, we have ships standing offshore Ghana with petroleum products, but there is no space to offload those products, and, so, we’ve done a good job in stabilising various sectors of the economy.

“Today we are supplying diesel and petrol to Burkina Faso and Mali from our Bolga Depot. Our Bolga Depot was shut down for so many years, the pipeline from Buipe to Bolga was not operational, today we are pumping fuel from Buipe to Bolga and we are loading 40 trucks a day to Burkina Faso and Mali, I mean if that is not economic progress, I don’t know what else anybody will call economic progress, yes we’ve been through a period of challenges and we’ve had to make sacrifices as citizens but I believe that in everyone’s life, there are times when you have to make sacrifices in order that things get better for the future, we are working to ensure that we create a better future for not only our citizens of today but for our citizens of tomorrow. And I believe we are doing a good job at it.

The economy is more resilient today than it was in the past, it’s not an economy in crisis, absolutely not, if you see and economy in crisis you’d know that it is an economy in crisis. This economy is not in crisis and it is growing. The African average growth rate predicted by the world bank and IMF is 3 per cent and for Ghana they predict 3.3 per cent, I’m more bullish, I believe that Ghana will grow closer to 4 per cent, maybe between 3.8 and 4 per cent, and we predict that in 2017, Ghana’s economy is going to grow by about 6 per cent, and, so, this country is doing well, we have resolved the power crisis, we’ve been able to match demand to supply and so the electricity crisis that hit us is gradually becoming a thing of the past.

Today the FPSO is shut down but we’ve made contingency arrangements and we are firing most of the power plants using crude oil and providing enough electricity for our people because we’ve done the structural changes that would ensure that the utilities can continue to provide us with power.

We have signed the agreement with ENI, which is a $7.5 billion investment agreement, the single largest investment ever made in Ghana probable after the Akosombo Dam and that is going to provide sufficient 1.5 how many million cubic feet of gas to produce power, the regional electricity market for West Africa is going to become operational at the end of this year, it means that if Ghana is able to produce more power and we have excess, we can put it on the regional electricity market and supply to Burkina Faso and to Mali and to others who do not have enough power.

“And, so, we are on the right track. Investor confidence is high. The last Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Investor Confidence Index shows that there is high confidence in the prospects of the Ghanaian economy, and, so, we are doing something right, and if anybody says that this economy is in crisis then it’s mainly for political propaganda purposes,” Mr. Mahama noted.

Speaking at Akwamufie on Tuesday, President Maham said “we are working on several of the roads in this area like the Akuse-Okpenya road, Ashietey town road, we are working on the road from Liberty to Kpono valley, Lasi to Abom, Trom to Kpone, we are also working on the town roads in both Odumasi and in Somanya. I’m going to ask the contractor to speed up work.”

On the roads from Somanya to Kpone, the President, said the contractor was working on a diversion of the road in order to work on the main bridge to pave way for the major road project to commence.

President Mahama, said his government was also ensuring that areas that were deprived of potable water, were connected.

“In the past, when the water projects were done, they were not connected to the surrounding towns so they didn’t benefit from the water project. But under the current expansion we did at the Kpone water station, we made sure that all the surrounding communities also benefit from the water.”

He also said, his government was constructing a number of school projects in the Easter Region. “We are building a new assembly complex for the Krobo girls.

We are doing a new community day Senior High School (SHS) in Obofa, we are working on a two-storey girls’ dormitory at Akro SHS, we are working on a three-storey dormitory block for boys at the Manya Krobo SHS and we are doing several classroom blocks at Agormenya Methodist School.

Recently, we approved in Parliament two rural electrification projects and work is going to start in August.

We have the legislation for the Eastern University currently before Parliament and the University is located here in Krobo land.”

The Eastern Regional tour, follows a similar one in the Western Region last week. President Mahama, while in the Eastern Region, will pay courtesy calls on chiefs, interact with traders and residents of various communities and inspect on-going projects.

The President will also use the three-day tour to elicit feedback and inaugurate new projects, including a ferry at Agordeke in Afram Plains.

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