President Akufo-Addo has described the initial plan by government to ensure the completion of its Agenda 111 project which sought to build hospitals across the country as overly ambitious.
Addressing parliament at the ongoing State of The Nation Address, the President revealed that among other things, the pandemic exposed the shortcomings of the country which the Agenda 111 sought to address. However, he explained that government was faced with unforeseen challenges during the execution of the project which have stalled the fulfilment of its original plan of completion.
“This pandemic exposed other shortcomings of our country, which has undoubtedly contributed to the anxieties that have befallen the nation. Agenda 111 was born out of this necessity to address some of these shortcomings. At the normal rate of growth, we are not likely to make the deficit in our health facilities infrastructure for a very long time, hence the need for a special dedicated programme of infrastructural development… Like all major construction projects, it is evident that the initial schedule we gave for the completion of Agenda 111 was overly ambitious. Identifying suitable sites around the country for example, it started out to be even more problematic than had been anticipated”.President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo highlighted that in addition to government undertaking the construction of 111 hospitals, the project is expected to create some 33,900 jobs for construction workers and on completion, create some 34,300 jobs for health workers. Following this, he indicated that a great deal of preparatory work has now been completed and work has started at 87 of the 111 sites.
“I’ve been assured the preliminary work on the remaining 24 sites is ongoing. We have every intention of seeing this project through to its successful end which will enable me to commission all 111 hospitals before I leave office on 7th January 2025”.President Akufo-Addo
The President indicated that despite the devastation caused by the pandemic, government has saved lives and fared much better than it “feared and the experts predicted”. That notwithstanding, he noted that the consequences of lockdown, border and business closures and unplanned expenditures have combined to have a devastating impact on the country’s economy.
“The unplanned expenditures included, but were not limited to, the recruitment on a permanent basis of 58, 121 healthcare professionals and the payment of extra incentives to our frontline health workers”.President Akufo-Addo
One District, One Factory initiative
Touching on one of government’s flagship programme, the One District One Factory Initiative (1D1F) initiative, President Akufo-Addo intimated that in order to bring the youth on board the 1D1F Programme, 58 out of the 278 1D1F Projects have been developed as enterprises fully owned by youth groups, with direct government support. Each of these 1D1F Youth companies, he emphasized, are owned by between “40 and 50 youth” as shareholders.
“In addition, five medium scale state-of-the-art agro-processing Common-User Facilities (CUFs) have been established with direct support from government and are owned by various groups of farmers, whose farming operations had previously been undermined through lack of processing facilities”.President Akufo-Addo
Following this, the President revealed that these farmer-owned companies have been established in five districts, namely Dormaa West, Savelugu, Sefwi Akontonbra, Sekyere Central and Tarkwa Nsuaem. He indicated that the companies cover oil palm processing, rice milling and the processing of maize into maize grits.
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