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President Akufo-Addo outlines 9 solutions to address economic challenges

Source The Ghana Report

President Nana Akufo-Addo says the government is determined to bring relief to Ghanaians and put the economy back on track.

In view of that, in his address on Sunday, October 30, the president announced some key plans or strategies introduced by the government to restore investor confidence.

Pressure is on the government to deliver due to rising public debt, expenditure management, revenue generation constraints and a rising cost of living.

With record highs in inflation, Cedi depreciation and price hikes on goods and services, the government has taken measures to address the situation.

Prices of goods and services have increased astronomically in the past weeks due several factors which the president describes at “malevolent forces”.

The most recent item to be affected is drinking water which will be sold at 60 pesewas per sachet due to production cost.

At the same time, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has announced transport fare increments by 19%, effective Saturday, October 29.

Fuel prices keep rising with no end in sight, with energy experts predicting another rise at the pumps at the beginning of the next pricing window in November.

President Akufo-Addo used Sunday’s address to update Ghanaians on government activities to improve the economy.

Below are the plans announced by the president:

1. Negotiations to secure a strong IMF Programme, which will support the implementation of our Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth and additional funding to support the 2023 Budget and development programme, are at advanced stages and are going well. We are determined to secure these arrangements quickly to bring back confidence and relief to Ghanaians. We are working towards reaching a deal with the IMF by the end of the year. This will give further credence to the measures the government is taking to stabilize and grow the economy, as well as shore up our currency.

2.Β  To restore and sustain debt sustainability, we plan to reduce our total public debt to GDP ratio to some 55% in present value terms by 2028, with the servicing of our external debt pegged at not more than 18% of our annual revenue also by 2028.

3. We are committed to improve mobilisation revenue collection effort, from the current tax-revenue to GDP ratio of 13% to between 18-20%, to be competitive with our peers in the West Africa Region. The GRA is rolling out an extensive set of measures to support this enhanced revenue mobilisation.

4. We are aiming to restore and sustain macroeconomic stability within the next three to six years, with a focus on ensuring debt sustainability to promote durable and inclusive growth while protecting the poor.

5. We have decided to review the reforms in the energy sector, capping of statutory funds, implementation of the exemptions Act and a new property rate regime.

6. We have decided also to continue with the policy of 30% cut in the salaries of political office holders, including the President, Vice President,prioritise, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs, and SOE appointees in 2023, just as we will continue with the 30% cut in discretionary expenditures of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

7. The success of our efforts at diversifying the structure of the Ghanaian economy from an import-based one to a value-added exporting one is what will, in the long term, help strengthen our economy. We are making some progress with the 1D1F but our current situation requires that we take some more stringent measures to discourage the importation of goods that we can and do produce here.

8. We will review the standards required for imports into the country, prioritise the imports, as well as review the management of our foreign exchange reserves in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles, and others which, with intensified government support and that of the banking sector, can be manufactured and produced in sufficient quantities in Ghana. The government will, in May 2023, that is six (6) months from now, review the situastabilisedust, as a matter of urgent national security, reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance, as demanded by our overarching goal of creating a Ghana Beyond Aid.

9. Government is also taking steps to sanitise the forex markets. This has resulted in a clamp down of black market activities and the revocation of the licences of two forex bureaux who flouted industry regulations.

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