The government says the Ghanaian economy has seen a complete turnaround in 32 months since the Akufo-Addo administration took over the running of the economy.
Presenting the Financial Policy of the government for 2020 in Parliament on Wednesday, the Minister for Finance Ken Ofori Atta said economic growth has rebounded strongly from 3.4 percent in 2016 to an average of over 7 percent during the past 2 years.
He said the inflation rate has fallen from 15.4 percent in December 2016 to 7.6 percent in September 2019, the lowest since March 1992 adding that the 91-day treasury bill rate also fell steadily from nearly 17 percent in December 2016 and now stands at 14.7 percent;
“The fiscal deficit has declined from 6.5 percent of GDP in 2016 to 4.5 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2019; On the external front, the trade deficit has improved from US$1.8 billion in 2016 to a surplus of US$2.6 billion in August 2019” he told the Parliamentarians.
The Finance Minister also disclosed that Ghana’s economic growth was also as a result of the Akufo-Addo administration’s performance in fulfilling pledges and programs.
“I am proud to stand here and declare that the President has redeemed all the pledges he made to the people of Ghana much to the dismay and chagrin of the naysayers. The success of the implementation of the Flagship programmes is borne out by incontrovertible evidence corroborated by data 1.2 million students have been enrolled in SHS because of the free SHS programme and their parents relieved of the burden of fees; in 2020 we will spend Ghc2.2billion on them 97,373 graduates have given opportunities in a work environment through NABCO to being better position them to secure jobs.”
“In 2020 over GHc800m will be spent on them. 307 Ambulances have been procured for distribution to each constituency and all regional and teaching hospitals, 1000 institutional toilets are under construction 560 dams are under construction with 200 dams completed 50 prefabricated grain warehouses 25 markets under construction 55,000 nurses have been recruited while 1.9 million people have benefited from the planting for Food and Job Programme”.
The Minister’s presentation which was on themed “Consolidating the gains for growth, jobs and prosperity for all” also highlighted on the transformation made in the Railway and Energy Sector, the creation of jobs and restoration of allowances for health workers and teachers.
Minority discredits gov’t’s claim of transforming economy
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has discredited the government’s claims of having turned Ghana’s economy from a struggling one to a promising one.
The Minority argued that figures such as the budget deficit provided by government officials in comparison with the NDC’s performance in 2016 are not a true reflection of the facts.
At a pre-budget press briefing by the Minority in Parliament, the Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson clarified that the government’s acclaimed improvement on GDP was only as a result of contributions from the oil sector.
Quoting figures to support his claim, Mr. Forson said: “The nominal GDP for 2016 before the rebasing was 168.7 billion cedis therefore if you are to express the 13. 1 billion as a percentage of 168.7 billion, the fiscal deficit will be and was 7.8 percent of non-rebased GDP…The nominal GDP for 2016 after the rebasing was 215 billion Ghana cedis and the fiscal deficit for 2016 was 6.1% under rebased GDP and obviously not 9. 3 percent.”