President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that over the last 21 months, the period of stay of his government in office, Ghana’s economy has been revived, with the various macroeconomic indices all pointing in the right direction.
Addressing the Ghanaian community in Washington DC, on Friday, 28th September, 2018, President Akufo-Addo noted that, prior to his assumption of office on 7th January, 2018, all the indices of economic performance and management were abysmal.
“We are talking about the fiscal deficit, we are talking about Debt-to-GDP ratio, we are talking about rate of growth in agriculture, rate of growth of industry, overall rate of growth of the GDP, and utility tariffs. All of these figures were going in the wrong way,” the President said.
The poor performance of the economy under the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration, the President said, influenced the Ghanaian people to vote for him and the NPP in the December 2016 election.
He noted that his government has, thus far, put the economy back on track, taken measures to help make Ghana as an attractive and business-friendly destination, and was re-establishing a a strong social foundation for the nation’s development.
“The measures we have taken, in terms of the results, are definitely positive. The 3.6% rate of growth we inherited in 2016, by the end of 2017 had grown to 8.5%. And, this year, there is every indication that the same rate of growth of expansion of our GDP is going to take place,” he said.
The growth of the economy, from 3.6% in 2016 to 8.5% in 2017, even before rebasing, President Akufo-Addo said, was an indication that “the decision the Ghanaian people made to change course, and entrust the management of the economy into different hands, has paid off.”
Inflation, which stood at 15.4% in December 2016, as at August 2018, is at 9.9%, he added.
“The deficit, which was at 9.3% in 2016 had come down to 5.9%. Growth in agriculture, which was at 3% in 2016 metamorphosed to 8.4% in 2017, largely due to the success of the initiative that we brought in of Planting for Food and Jobs. Negative 0.5% growth of industry transformed into 17.7% in 2017,” the President said.
With the country, from 2009 to 2016, not witnessing any reduction in utility tariffs, President Akufo-Addo noted that the era of former President Mahama was characterised by the erratic energy supply, popularly referred to as ‘dumsor,’
“In the period (of my administration), electricity tariffs for residential users have been reduced by 17.5%. Non-residential customers i.e., essentially industrial, commercial enterprises, 30% reduction. The mining sector registered a 10% reduction in tariffs, and then for the special load ttariff customers, i.e., the big users, 25% reduction. Water tariffs have also come down by 10% across board,” the President added.
Additionally, nursing trainees allowances that were cancelled by the Mahama government, President Akufo-Addo stressed, “were restored in my first year in office; the teacher trainee allowances that had been cancelled, were restored in my first year of office.”
The National Health Insurance Scheme, which was on the brink of collapse, after being saddled with a debt of GH¢1.2 billion debt by the Mahama government, has been revived.
“And then the debt-to-GDP ratio which stood at 73% in 2017 has come down to 64% at the end of 2017. The size of the GDP itself, this is the final statistic that I want to leave with you, was GH¢164 billion in 2016. A year later, it had expanded to GH¢206 billion,” he said.
The President continued, “So if you look at all of these indices, there is no doubt about it that the change that the people wanted in the management of the economy has been utterly vindicated, and we intend to continue the programme of discipline of our public finances and measures that will stimulate the economy and stimulate enterprises in Ghana as the way forward to restoring vigour and health to our economy.”
Story: Business DESK