Business News of Wednesday, 15 March 2017
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the government’s first budget presented to Parliament recently was the clearest signal of its commitment to place the private sector at the forefront of redeeming the economy and enhancing growth, progress and prosperity.
“We have removed the many impediments there for businesses. We want to signal to the private sector that we mean business,” the President said.
He said the Ghanaian private sector was the way forward for the country, adding that the first budget had pointed the way the government was going to handle the private sector.
Receiving the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Tony Elumelu, who called to congratulate the President on his victory in the December 2016 elections, President Akufo-Addo said “we came in because the economy of our country had taken a nose dive.
“There was the need for a new direction. Our first task is to revive our economy, and put it on the road to growth and expansion,” he added.
Need for new direction
The President said it was only by growing the economy that the problems of the economy, principally youth unemployment, could be resolved.
“We want to grow our industry and our agriculture, and have a solid financial system that will support the growth of these two sectors,” he said.
He gave the assurance that neither the government nor its officials were in office to compete with businessmen.
“They are in office to facilitate and increase business confidence in Ghana, and by that way, develop the country rapidly,” he stressed.
For that reason, President Akufo-Addo said “UBA is the kind of partner that we are looking for to assist us in the delivery of our vision and mandate.”
Building a Ghana without aid
President Akufo-Addo said Ghanaians admired the work that UBA had been doing, not just in Nigeria but looking beyond the borders to countries like Ghana.
The President observed that the UBA was the first Nigerian bank to set up in Ghana, during the era of President Kufuor, largely as a result of the positive business atmosphere created in the country.
He, therefore, reiterated his commitment to recreate a pro-business climate in Ghana to spur on development.
UBA to partner government
Mr Tony Elumelu, for his part, assured the President of the bank’s support for the growth and development of the critical sectors of the economy.
He said the bank was poised to partner the government in providing every available support as the government worked to return the nation onto the path of progress and prosperity.
Mr Elumelu observed that investor confidence in Ghana was rising following the pro-business and pro-private sector approach adopted by the government.
He said the government’s policy thrust coupled with the initiatives announced in the 2017 budget were making Ghana the investment destination in the region.
Achieving economic independence
“We are very happy about all of this, and we would like to associate ourselves with your government and support you to succeed, both in banking and in other sectors of the economy,” he said.
On the government’s one district, one factory policy, the UBA Chairman indicated that the bank was prepared to support the government in the realisation of its vision.
“Africa lacks economic independence, and people like you, Mr President, can provide the new hope for Africa and we will stand by you. You have in us willing and capable partners who are proud and happy to identify themselves with you,” he added.