Accra, May 9, 2021 - Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, has urged Ghanaians to rise up and support the government in its efforts to restructure the economy.
He made the clarion call when he spoke to the press at the Ministry of Finance on May 9, 2021. The press briefings are one of the ways the government accounts to the public and respond to concerns that have sparked public interest.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said in his speech that, many people were going through difficult times, and Ghanaians, like other countries around the world, were going through difficult times. Despite the fact that external shocks had worsened Ghana's problems, he assured that the government was committed to addressing them all.
“You have elected us to solve the problems that face this country. We will continue to work with you and other stakeholders to do just that”.
Concerns raised by the organizers of #FixTheCountry, a youth-led social media movement, were addressed by the Minister, who noted that their activities summed up the Ghanaian youth patriotism, echoing the H. E the President's call to "Be a Citizen, Not a Spectator."
Mr. Ofori-Atta said further that “the good people of Ghana have given us a mandate to get things done. For us as a Government, this is a clarion call for a national conversation on the shared burden to renew the social contract of our democracy”.
He took the opportunity to enumerate a number of achievements chalked by the government during their first term of office which included; implementation of 1 District 1 Factory, 1 Village 1Dam, Planting for Food and Jobs, Free Senior High School programme with over 1.2 million enrolments, the Zongo Development Fund Programme, School Feeding Programmes with over 3.4 million beneficiaries, LEAP Programme with over 334,084 Households, Nations Builders Corps (NABCO) with 100,000 beneficiaries.
He also mentioned allowances for Teacher Trainees (47,135 beneficiaries) and Nursing Trainees (50,825 beneficiaries), as well as the introduction of digitalization programs to transform the economy and the establishment of two Social Partnership programs, one with Organized Labor and the Ghana Employers Association, and the other with Faith Based Organizations (FBOs).
The Minister also listed the financial sector clean-up, which saved the investments of 4.6 million depositors, 81,700 investors, and 3,000 direct jobs, as well as the hosting of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) headquarters in Accra, which would place Ghana and Ghanaian companies as the gateway partner and spearhead Ghana as a hub for the Africa region.
Ghana, he said, was on the verge of a smooth economic take-off, with all macroeconomic indicators pointing in the right direction, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, halting all economic gains.
Through prudent economic policies, the adverse impact of the pandemic was not felt by Ghanaians
“Government ensured that the worst possible effect of the pandemic was averted,” the Minister said. “Let me emphasize, however, that in order to ensure a full recovery, we must spend more on Ghanaian businesses' organizational capital.”
The Minister stated that the government would continue to prioritize the needs of the people, noting that in collaboration with the Minister of Water and Sanitation, they had ensured access to portable water, especially in most urban areas.
He touched also on efforts by the government in the area of roads and highways, transports and interior, fast-tracking the implementation of the US$200million Jobs and Skills Programme to enable private sector businesses expand and employ more people, Ghana CARES programme which would focus on Health, Agriculture, Tourism, Trade, Digitization, Science and Technology among others.
He answered media questions about the #FixTheCountry campaign, the road sector, health, the covid-19 pandemic and other national issues.
Present at the press briefing were the Hon. Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Deputy Minister for Finance designates, Hon. Abena Osei-Asare and Hon. John Kumah, Chief Director of Ministry of Finance, Mr. Patrick Nomo and other senior staff of the Ministry of Finance. END