Business News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo is blowing loudly the horn of a seeming macro-economic stability in the first six months of his administration.
In his first media encounter with selected journalists and practitioners, the president did not fail to chronicle the rather weak economic foundation he inherited and how his government has worked towards stability.
According to him, key on his agenda when he was sworn into office was how to stabilize the economy which had been ravaged by debts, high inflation and depreciating cedi.
Even though he was aware of the enormity of the economic challenges at hand, he said he was “shocked” at the state of affairs he found in office.
He said the depth of the problem required an awful lot of tough decisions by his team of “competent” economic managers headed by the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
Having been suffocated by what he referred to as “nuisance taxes”, the president said they had to review the policy direction from taxation to production.
He said a government voted for change could not afford to do business usual and the “Asempa budget” which is fully in gear is solving some of the challenges.
The president said the macro- economic indices are “beginning to show a turn for the better.”
“The monetary policy rate of the Bank of Ghana has been cut from 25.5% to 22.5% in the first half of the year; inflation has gone down from 15.4% in December 2016 to 12.1% in June from ie. a period of six months, the lowest in four years.
The benchmark 91-day Treasury bill rate was 22.8% in January 2016 and it is narrowed to 11.9% in June this year, the lowest in five years,” he touted.
For a government that promised to use a vehicle of one district one factory policy to employ an army of unemployed youth, the president said the policy is destined to succeed given what has been done so far.
The one district one factory policy was one of the campaign mantras of the NPP with the hope of creating factories in each of the 216 districts of the country.
The policy is expected to harness the raw materials and resources within each district and set up factories for purposes of value addition which will create jobs.
The challenge was how to raise the necessary funding for such an ambitious policy but the president said there is no cause for alarm.
He said a total of $100 million has been invested for district enterprises under the one district, one factory policy.
Together with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) the president said they have secured an amount of $2 billion from the Chinese government for the supply of equipment.
The president also touched on a number of issues including galamsey, restoration of the teacher and nursing training allowances.
The encounter was attended by a number of journalists across the country.