In order to realize Ghana’s Beyond Aid agenda, we will need a strong and efficient financial sector, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said.
He made the remarks when he delivered the 2018 budget statement before Parliament on Wednesday.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has consistently reiterated his commitment to growing Ghana's economy thereby opening opportunities for every citizen.
President Akufo-Addo at a roundtable-meeting with some selected chief executive officers of leading African and international companies on the sidelines of the recently held Fifth Edition of the Africa CEO’s Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, said, “We want to build a Ghana beyond aid; a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.’’
Reiterating the president’s commitment, the Finance Minister said: ‘’Mr. Speaker, a strong and efficient financial sector is fundamental to realising “Ghana Beyond Aid”. This requires innovative and long term instruments to support economic development for higher productivity, jobs and inclusive growth.’’
He said, ’’to achieve this, Government will design the requisite financial architecture that is capable of mobilising resources to help rapidly advance the country’s development through the following: Launch a national development bank, with the capacity to mobilize private· capital towards agricultural and industrial transformation, among others.
Government has set-up a task force to develop a roadmap for its establishment; Restructure the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) with the· capability to mobilise foreign private capital for critical infrastructure development using a private sector model; and Enhance the capacity of Ghana Exim Bank to support agriculture and· industrialization for export.
Government has announced the establishment of a National Bank.
This was contained in the budget statement presented to Parliament today [Wednesday] by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
According to him, the National Bank will have the capacity to mobilize private capital towards agricultural and industrial transformation.
“A strong and efficient financial sector is fundamental to realizing Ghana Beyond Aid. This requires innovative and long term financing instruments to support economic development for higher productivity, jobs and inclusive growth,” he said.
The Minister further indicated that, the 2017 Budget Statement to address the challenges in the financial sector to enable strong private sector credit growth. In this regard, the Bank of Ghana addressed the challenge that UT Bank and Capital Bank posed to the entire banking system by agreeing to a Purchase and Assumption Agreement by GCB Bank.
He added: ‘’This intervention was made with clear policy intent to protect the deposit public and prevent any contagion effect on the entire industry. The government is proud to announce that despite the failure of these two banks in 2017, the confidence and trust in the financial sector remain strong. 773. The Bank of Ghana increased the minimum capital requirement of universal banks from GH¢120m to GH¢400m, and all such banks have up to December 2018 to meet the minimum capital requirements. This was done to ensure that these banks have more capacity to lend to businesses, especially within the purview of their single obligatory limits which the Bank of Ghana must enforce strictly.’’
A former deputy minister of finance and agric with the erstwhile Mahama administration, Mr. Fifii Kwetey has said that the ruling New Patriotic Party is good at building castles in the air.
He was reacting to the budget as was read by the finance minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta in Parliament today.
In his view, what has been themed "Putting Ghana Back to Work" was only a promise in the vacuum that needs to be debated to bring out the lies carried on it.
He says it's not out of place to see the NPP government work to find solutions to what confronts the nation but they are nowhere near the task.
For government to claim to have offered job to the youth, the Ketu South MP says it's nothing new of a government since public sector always offer thousands of job to graduates from the various collages.
He has therefore challenged the Nana Addo led administration to hit the grounds and create real jobs to fulfill it's promises.
The Minister in his presentation said government has proposed the reduction in electricity tariffs for Residential 13%, Non Residential 13%, Special Load Tariff- Low Voltage 13%, Special Load Tariff -Medium Voltage 11%, Special Load Tariff -High Voltage 14% and High Voltage Mines 21%.
Growth rate was targeted at 6.8%. He also indicated that,Government will continue to explore every necessary measure to find an efficient way of managing the public sector payroll. Studies will be undertaken to evaluate various options including outsourcing the payroll.
‘’As part of measures to cut back on the administrative overheads of all public institutions including State Owned Enterprises, government will undertake comprehensive rationalisation of all administrative costs. This will include vehicle running cost, capacity building, printing, workshops and seminars among others. As a first step, effective 2018, the production of dairies and calendars by public institutions will be discontinued, the Minister added.
By: Daniel Asuku
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday presented before Parliament, the 2018 budget statement christened, “Putting Ghana back to work” announced the reduction in electricity tariffs.
The budget also announced the establishment of the Builders Corps which is expected to provide jobs for about 100,000 graduates.
The new programme dubbed the Nation Builders Corps is focused on solving public service delivery in the health, education, agriculture and sanitation sectors as well as drive revenue mobilization and collection.
Full Text has been atatched
Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs Programme has provided over 3,000 jobs or young people since it was launched in January this year, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed.
He made the revelation in his 2018 budget statement presentation before Parliament today [Wednesday].
He indicated that a total of 2,160 university graduates and 1,070 youth were employed under the
programme, to register and provide extension services to farmers across the country.
He said, “121, 000 MT of subsidized fertilizers and 4, 454.98 MT of subsidized seeds of cereal, legumes and vegetables have been distributed to beneficiary farmers.”
“The programme also registered suppliers to distribute farm produce to public institutions including the School Feeding Programme, the Free Senior High School Programme, Prisons, Defence and Police, among others to ensure availability of quality food in a timely manner in these institutions.’’
The Planting for Food and Jobs is expected to be rolled out in all 216 districts across the country, and will involve the supply of farm resources such as high yielding and improved seedlings to participating farmers.
The programme, according to the government, would also motivate farmers to grow staple foods such as maize, millet, and beans.
Interested farmers are to be provided with free seedlings among other agricultural inputs and agro-chemicals such as fertilizer at reduced prices.
Other achievements by the current administration outlined by the Minister were: • The Distribution of about 80,000 bags of cereal and legume seeds, 36,000 sachets of vegetable seeds and about 2,000,000 bags of fertilizer
• Recruitment of 822 agricultural extension personnel
• Establishment of a task-force to assess status of warehouses and storage facilities nationwide for rehabilitation
• Creation of market opportunities for farmers by linking them with institutional buyers such as School Feeding Programme and Prisons Service.
• Electronic registration of over 34, 000 farmers out of more than 200,000 manually registered
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that government has targeted a growth of the economy by 6.8 percent in 2018.
He made the announcement before Parliament in his presentation of the 2018 budget statement today [Wednesday].
The target according to him, represents a 0.5 percent increase, compared to 2017 which was pegged at 6.3 percent.
Government targets “overall GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent, with non-oil GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent”, he said in his presentation.
“Our prime focus is to ensure that the fiscal deficit, which remains our principal fiscal anchor, continues on a downward trajectory, reaching 4.5 percent of GDP from the projected 2017 end-year estimate of 6.3 percent,” he added.
On inflation, he said, government is targeting an end-of-year inflation rate of 8.0 percent, lower than the 11.2 percent targeted for 2017.
The inflation for October is at 11.6 percent, he indicated. “Achieving this objective is not only critical, but necessary if we are to maintain the healthy primary balance surplus required to eventually reduce the rate of debt accumulation,” he said.
“We must make these decisions in good time to ensure that our future generations will be bequeathed with a priceless inheritance of sustainable fiscal environment.”
“In this vein, optimizing resources mobilization through improved tax compliance and efficient and effective revenue administration, remains an important part of our fiscal strategy to boost domestic revenue mobilization for 2018 and the medium-term,” he added.
Government will specifically continue vigorously with and heavily invest in its key policies and flagship projects such as the planting for food and jobs, stimulus packages for distress companies, one-district-one-one factory, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has said.
Delivering the 2018 budget christened ‘’Bringing Ghana Back To Work’’, the Minister continued that, government will also invest heavily in the Zongo Development Fund, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan, Free SHS, National Identification Programme, and the National School Feeding Programme.
He said government has prioritize investment in these areas to ensure that, we establish a fair and inclusive society which creates life and productive opportunities for every able body Ghanaian.
‘’We are confident that these investments will not only deliver jobs but will improve the security and wellbeing of Ghanaians and communities across the country,’’ he added.
Government he noted will provide quality of education, jobs and health delivery for Ghanaians.
The budget for 2018 is geared towards prosperity and opportunity.
The NPP will build an equal opportunity economy for all Ghanaian, he stressed.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta says the current administration under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has provided Ghanaians with reliable and stable power after taking over from the previous administration.
According to him, a lot has been achieved under the current government adding, and we have achieved under one year, what seemed impossible in 8 years, he added.
He said, we have provided reliable electricity supply…We have indeed provided reliable electricity supply and our SHS students have literally forgotten how to spell dumsor because dumsor is dead.
He touted that Ghana has returned to robust growth of a real GDP 7.8 in 2017 against 2.7 in 2016.
Government he said has reduced inflation, maintained stability of the cedi against the US dollar, brought down the policy rate to 21 percent.
The military has seized control in Zimbabwe but has said President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, is safe.
After seizing state TV, an army spokesman announced it was targeting people close to Mr Mugabe who had caused "social and economic suffering".
The move came after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in favour of his wife, Grace.
Heavy gun and artillery fire could be heard in northern parts of the capital Harare early on Wednesday.
A statement read out by a general on air denied it was a coup. There was no immediate word from the president himself.
Mr Mugabe, 93, has dominated the impoverished country's political scene since independence from the UK.
The UK Foreign Office advised Britons "currently in Harare to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer", while the US embassy in Harare advised US citizens in Zimbabwe to "shelter in place" until further notice.
China, Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner, says it is closely watching the situation and hopes that the relevant parties can properly handle their internal affairs.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, left Ghana on Tuesday, 14th November, 2017, for a 3-day official visit to Qatar, atatemnt signed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin has said.
Whilst there, President Akufo-Addo, as co-Chair of the Group of Advocates of Eminent Persons of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, will attend the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), and deliver the keynote address on the theme “Asset over Burden – Education for Refugee Youth.”
During his visit, the President will hold bilateral talks with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on ways to deepen and strengthen the ties of co-operation that exist between the two countries for the mutual benefit of their two peoples.
President Akufo-Addo will return to Ghana on Friday, 17th November, 2017, and in his absence, the Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, shall, in accordance with Article 60(8) of the Constitution, act in his stead.