On behalf of my behalf of the government, the first lady, my wife Rebecca, my daughters, grandchildren and my family, I wish all Ghanaians and people the world over, a Merry Christmas and happy, prosperous New Year.
As we celebrate Christmas, with its glad tidings of great joy, let us remind ourselves of the beautiful story of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Isaiah summed it up when he said, and I quote, “for to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulder and his name Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
So, let us rededicate ourselves to him, and remain committed to the cardinal principles of Christianity, which are faith, love, charity, and reconciliation.
Let also take a moment to reflect on our country, on how far God has brought us, and on the many blessings, especially of freedom, peace, and stability he continues to shower upon us.
We have good reason to be thankful to God for the modest successes we chalked over the course of 2019.
1.2 million of our children have today, unfettered access to Senior High School education, the highest enrolment in our history; we have revived our healthcare system.
We have had a bumper harvest of foodstuffs for two years in succession, with food prices at their lowest in years; tens and tens of thousands of teachers, health workers, graduates and non-graduates alike have been given jobs.
We have re-tooled and re-equipped our police service and armed forces to a considerable extent; our economy is one of the fasted growing economies in the world this year, and we are the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa.
We have had to take painful but necessary measures, to sanitise and save the banking system, a process which, I know, has brought discomfort to many a household.
It is worthy to note, however, that the jobs of some six thousand five hundred (6,500) workers were saved as a result, instead of the ten thousand (10,000) that could have been lost.
In addition, to the protection of funds of 4.6 million depositors.
Thus far, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana have worked together to guarantee payment of 100 per cent of deposits of customers of the failed banks, which is being done.
I have directed the Ministry of Finance to work with the Bank of Ghana, to ensure the same applies to customers of microfinance and savings and loans companies, whose licenses have been revoked.
Investigations into potential criminal conduct are proceeding, as it appears there has been a massive diversion of assets of these financial institutions.
I assure you, that the outcome of these inquiries will be made known very soon, as well as the actions that will be taken to bring those responsible to book.
Work is ongoing in all parts of the country to fix the road network, and with 2020 being the Year of Roads, we should see major improvements during the year.
Systematic measures are also being undertaken to strengthen the accountability institutions of our state in the fight against corruption, as the surest and most effective way to deal with this canker.
The Police, under the new IGP Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh, has made a significant deployment of its personnel around the country and is determined to provide the security to you and your family this holiday season.
Next year is another year in our democratic journey.
We will hold in December 2020, the eighth general election in the history of the Fourth Republic.
We all have a duty to conduct ourselves in such a manner that we have a free, fair and transparent election that will enable the Ghanaian people to choose, in peace and serenity, the person and persons who will manage their affairs on their behalf.
I am confident that yet again, Ghanaians will rise to the occasion, and reinforce the status of Ghana as a beacon of democracy on the continent.
The country is by no means of the woods yet, but there is a growing sense of confidence, that with hard work and determination, Ghana will make it, and collectively, we will secure our futures.
So, let us celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ safely and responsibly, and avoid doing anything that will put our lives and the lives of our loved ones and others in harm’s way.
Let us be a blessing on the lives of those in need, and through our actions, bring good cheer to all.
And to our brothers and sisters and others, who have come from beyond our shores, and are joining us celebrate Christmas in this ‘Year of Return.’
I say akwaaba, our word of welcome to each of you.
Ghana is certainly the place to be this December, and I hope you are enjoying the famed, warm Ghanaian hospitality, and proud, colourful heritage.
When you leave, I am sure you will take with you splendid memories that will enhance further, our common identity, as black people.
You will always have a home here with us.
May the celebration of Christmas bring joy to all people, and may the New Year usher in a new era of blessing and growth for you.
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