General News of Tuesday, 3 April 2018
As we end the full 12-month cycle of the first budget of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and begin the second quarter of year 2018, we wish to acknowledge the Almighty God for his blessings unto us and the President.
We are also grateful to all Ghanaians and our partner nations and supporting international organizations. Indeed this has been a one year of budget implementation with significant successes, even though we still have some way to go:
1. We are thankful for the increased stability in our economy
2. We are thankful for declining inflation
3. We are thankful for declining interest rates
4. We are thankful for our exchange rate stability
5. We are thankful for our increased economic growth. Ghana was the fastest growing economy in the world in 2017.
6. We are thankful for the fiscal discipline in the management of our public finances which resulted in the government attaining its budget deficit target. The first time since 2006.
7. We are thankful for the introduction of free senior high school education in Ghana
8. We are thankful for the restoration of teacher trainee allowances
9. We are thankful for the restoration of nursing trainee allowances
10. We are thankful for the setting up of the special prosecutor’s office and the appointment of Mr. Martin Amidu as the special prosecutor.
11. We are thankful that the Right to Information Bill has been laid in Parliament, and expected to be passed this year after 18 years of trying
12. We are thankful that the Auditor General has saved the taxpayer over GHC 5 BILLION as a result of a special audit conducted.
13. We are thankful that Ghana now has a functional digital property addressing system.
14. We are thankful that a ministry for Zongo and Inner City development has been set up along with the Zongo Development Fund
15. We are thankful that the law establishing the Northern, Middle Belt and Coastal Development Authorities has been passed and that the authorities will be operational this year.
16. We are thankful that the one village one dam project is fully on course and will be launched in a few weeks
17. We are thankful that the National Identification project is on course and the mass issuance of cards will start soon
18. We are thankful that electricity prices have been reduced by 17.5% for households and 30% for businesses. Can anyone remember when this has ever been done?
19. We are thankful that the resort to sole sourcing for contracts has dramatically reduced
20. We are thankful that the government reduced or abolished some 15 taxes and levies, such as special import levy, VAT on real estate sales, Kayayei levy, national street lighting levy, special petroleum tax, etc.
21. We are thankful for the introduction of a paperless regime at our ports.
22. We are thankful that preparations for the launch of the Nation Builders Corps (under which 100,000 graduates will be recruited) are advanced and will be launched in April.
23. We are thankful for competent economic management.
24. We are thankful that we have been able to increase the share of the district assemblies common fund for persons with disabilities from 2% to 3%. Something previous governments have promised but not done.
25. We are thankful for reducing the debt to GDP ratio from 73% to 69.8% at end-2017.
26. We are thankful for the significant progress in the implementation of the mobile interoperability payments system which will be launched in some few weeks time
28. We are thankful that business confidence in the economy is on the rise and international sovereign credit rating agencies like Fitch and Standard & Poors have upgraded Ghana’s ratings.
29. We are thankful that we are fixing the economic mess we inherited and the data shows clearly that the economy is getting stronger.
30. Most importantly, we are thankful for the leadership and vision of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Our economy under his leadership is only going to get stronger.
May the Almighty God (Allah) continue to guide our paths to greater success for the year 2018.
Hon. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid(PhD)
Minister for Information and Presidential Spokesperson