Taxpayer not paying for drone services – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated the use of drones to supply essential and lifesaving medical supplies will not be borne by the taxpayer.
“This programme is not going to be run on the public budget. Corporate Social Responsibility contributions from private sector players will pay for the service. I prefer drones flying to deliver essential medicines to our people than an investment in guinea fowls that allegedly fly off to Burkina Faso without any trace,” President Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, when he addressed members of the media at an end of year press conference, at Jubilee House, in Accra.
With Government having paid up the GH¢1.2 billion arrears it inherited from the Mahama Government, President Akufo-Addo noted that this has brought the operations of the NHIS back to life.
“We are also in the process of launching the world’s largest and most advanced medical drone delivery network. The four (4) distribution centres, from where the drones will be operating, will stock one hundred and forty-eight (148) lifesaving and essential medical supplies, and not only blood,” he said.
The President continued, “The drone delivery service will save lives, decrease wastage in the system, guarantee healthcare access for more than 14 million people nationwide, and employ over two hundred (200) Ghanaians.”
President Akufo-Addo added further that “the procurement process will enable every constituency to get one ambulance each in the early part of next year. This will not solve the ambulance problem immediately, but it certainly shows more commitment to finding a solution than we have ever seen.”
In addressing the issues of insufficient numbers of classrooms, desks, laboratories, computers and dormitories, the President noted that with ingenuity and innovation, Government has, through the Ghana Education Trust Fund, secured a $1.5 billion facility to help develop infrastructure in our schools.
“Parliamentary approval has been obtained, and the first tranche of this facility will be used to build more classroom blocks and dormitories in our schools to give our schools appropriate facilities to meet the demands of the 21st century,” he said.
The President continued, “And, so, we are on doubletrack, and we are building the classrooms and laboratories, and gradually turning the once deprived schools into well-equipped ones. We find that paying attention to the proper management of schools means we are getting better results.”
President Akufo-Addo also stated that it is not every day that Volkswagen, Nissan and Sino-Truck offer to build assembly plants in a country round about the same time.
“Systematically, we are also rolling out our 1-District-1-Factory policy of industrialisation. Thus far, seventy-nine (79) projects have been implemented under 1D1F, with another 35 going through credit appraisal by officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the financial institutions that are supporting the programme,” he said.
Under the Stimulus Package, President Akufo-Addo indicated that two hundred and thirty-seven million dollars ($237 million) has been disbursed to 16 companies, with an additional thirty-five (35) being considered for support.
“The process of industrialization will be accelerated in the course of 2019,” the President assured.