The Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid, has reiterated government’s commitment to transform the economy it inherited from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
He said the Nana Addo-led NPP government will devise ingenious ways to fix the challenges with the economy, and fulfill its campaign promises to Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo during his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, painted a very gloomy of the country’s economy left behind by the John Mahama-led government.
Among other things, Nana Akufo-Addo said the NDC government had ballooned the country’s debt stock to GHs122 billion, from the GHs9.5 billion it inherited from the John Agyekum-Kufuor government in 2009.
He also revealed that, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, left office with the country’s GDP growth rate at 3.6%, the lowest the country has recorded in the past 23 years.
He however said his government will introduce key interventions in the various sectors of the economy to improve the situation.
But the minority in Parliament, questioned how the NPP government under the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo will honour some of its campaign promises including the restoration of teacher and nursing trainees’ allowance, when he [Akufo-Addo] had said the previous government left a weak economy.
They suggested that the president’s insistence that he would fulfill all his campaign promises indicated that the NDC rather left a strong economy.
“If you read the full State of the Nation Address, you will come to the conclusion that this economy cannot be a weak economy. This is the same economy that President Akufo Addo is saying that he is able to provide allowances to teacher trainees and nursing trainees. He is able to begin his free SHS programme and we should look forward to the Minister of Finance presenting his budget which will give us details on how he is going to do that. He is also upbeat about implementing a lot of his promises. The one village, one dam policy etc,” the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said at the press conference.
But the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, told citi fm, the government will ensure that it blocks the financial leakages the erstwhile government permitted to generate money to finance its promised projects.
“Go to the Tema Habour and the ports alone, and see how much money we can make from the habours alone; if we were really diligent in collecting all the taxes that are supposed to come to government. Sometimes we grant tax waivers of millions of Ghana cedis to private citizens who do not deserve tax waivers and so on. There was a lot of wastage in the system.”
“That is what we have promised. We will be diligent, we will not grant unnecessary tax waivers to people, and we will not allow people to subvert procedures in order to undercut government in terms of how much they must pay to the state for running of the country,” he said.