General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that due to the ‘desperate’economic conditions that persist in the country, his government has had to make several unconventional decisions to address those challenges.
According to him, despite his general knowledge of the country’s economic predicament prior to becoming president, he was still taken aback by the severity of existing challenges.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, the President reiterated he and his appointees’ readiness to deal with the issues that have stunted the country’s development, stating that many unusual and potentially unpopular steps had already been taken to address the situation.
“I knew that the biggest problem we faced on coming into office was the economy. But I can safely say that I was still shocked at the state of affairs we found. A very competent economic management team with Dr. Bawumia in the chair has initiated with my support, measures to solve the mess.
“The desperate economic situation meant that we’ve had to take unorthodox but brave measures. There was never any chance that this government, voted into office with the mandate for change would dare to do things in the business as usual manner. The Asempa budget that the Finance Minister presented in March set the tone for the new ways of doing things that will transform our economy. It also provided the opportunity to deliver on some of the promises we made during the election campaign ” the President said.
A $2.25 billion domestic bond was recently issued by the government, with 95% purchased by Franklin Templeton.
The first two bonds, totalling 1.13 billion dollars, was issued at 15 and 7 years period with the same coupon of 19.75%.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance raised the cedi equivalent of USD1.12 billion in 5 and 10-year bonds via a tap-in arrangement.
The government also announced that they intended to leverage part of the nation’s bauxite deposits in a $15bn partnership with China.
The Government has come under fire in recent months from a section of the public, particularly the opposition, for these policies that have been adopted in a bid to address the country’s economic concerns.
The Minority have suggested that the domestic bonds might have been marred by issues of conflict of interest while concerns have been raised about the prospect of leveraging the countries mineral deposit in the deal with China.
However, the President stated that his government was committed to ensuring that the decisions that had placed the country in such a dire economic state in the first place, are not repeated.