Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. I thank you for honoring our invitation to this Press Conference.
On Friday, 26th November 2021, the Parliament of Ghana was scheduled to sit and conclude the debate on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government. After the closing statements from both the Majority and Minority leaders, the Speaker gave me the opportunity to make a statement to the House.
During the statement, I prayed the House to be given the opportunity to engage further with the Minority on the demands they have raised in their closing remarks. Unfortunately, my request was declined.
I had requested this opportunity to engage with the Minority because I believed that the tradition of consensus in approving the budget that we had nurtured over the last 5 years was important for our National resolve and determination to be united in transforming our society.
The Budget was subsequently approved on Tuesday 30th November 2021. However, during my statement on that day, I promised to respond to the concerns of the Minority after further consultations with stakeholders, which I have now done.
On behalf of The President, I have written to the Right Hon. Speaker of Parliament with details of modifications in response to emerging concerns by all stakeholders including the Minority. Please allow me to update the people of Ghana on what we have proposed.
- with regards to Agyapa Royalties Ltd, we shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties collateralisation. It is important to note that, any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes, and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework;
- in respect of the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, we shall make the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHS10 million to complete the Feasibility and Engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected. We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 Km of coastline, including the 149 Km between Aflao and Prampram. Meanwhile, NADMO has responded to the humanitarian crisis created by the tidal waves on the Keta coastline;
- relating to the Aker Energy transaction, we shall amend paragraph 829 of the 2022 Budget on the acquisition of a stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum by GNPC, to reflect the resolution of Parliament dated 6th July 2021 that “the terms and conditions of the loan for the acquisition of the shares shall be brought to Parliament for consideration pursuant to article 181 of the Constitution; and
- on the benchmark values, we shall avert any hardships to importers and consumers while safeguarding the interest of local manufacturing industries to secure and expand jobs for our people. This administrative exercise which reviewed 43 out of 81 line items, has the objective to promote local manufacturing and the 1D1F policy, including the assembling of vehicles. It is important to note that this adjustment affects only 11.4% of the total CIF value, of which 50% is for vehicles. From our analysis, the potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and therefore inflation should be muted. The YouStart policy will also support our accomplished Traders with appropriate training and access to capital to become Manufacturers in order to expand the industrial base of our society and our import substitution strategy, in line with our Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.