In 2017, Government recorded a fiscal deficit of 5.6% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as against a 9.3% in 2016, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated.


President Akufo-Addo said his government had paid almost half of the arrears inherited, remained current on obligations to statutory funds, restored teacher and nursing training allowances, doubled capitation grant and implemented  the Free Senior High School Education Policy, but  was still be able to reduce the fiscal deficit from 9.3% to an estimated 5.6% of GDP.


The President said his administration had reduced taxes, brought down inflation and interest rates, increased economic growth (from 3.6% to 7.9%), increased  international reserves, maintained a relative exchange rate stability and reduced the debt to GDP ratio as well as the rate of debt accumulation.


He was addressing the media at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Thursday to account for his one-year stewardship as President.


The President reiterated his commitment to protecting the public purse, despite the criticism that his 110 ministers were a drain on the economy, adding that he was satisfied with the work of his appointees.


On Ghana’s debt situation, he said it had improved, as the annual average rate of debt accumulation of 36% in recent years had declined to about 13.6%, as at September 2017.


As a result, he said, the public debt stock as a ratio of GDP was 68.3%, against the annual target of 71% for 2017.


President Akufo-Addo said for the first time, in a long while, Government  had better-resourced the country’s constitutionally-mandated institutions― Auditor-General’s Department, Parliament, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Ghana Police Service― with budgetary supports.


The President gave the assurance that the five main priority areas of focus by his government, namely agriculture, energy, industry, education and health, would rapidly transform the country, adding that reports indicated that the Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign, for example, which registered over two hundred thousand (200,000) farmers in the 2017 crop season, had been a big success.


He cited the Youth-in-Agriculture Programme of the Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign, where ten thousand (10,000) youth had been supported to cultivate eight hundred (800) hectares and ten thousand, three hundred and twenty (10,320) hectares of rice and maize, respectively.


“Under the campaign, average yields of maize and rice have increased, and our warehouses are filling up while the full picture of this success is yet to emerge,” the President explained.


The President also cited institutional sub–programmes, where twenty (20) Senior Technical High Schools, National Service Scheme and the Prison Service were supported to cultivate their own farms.


He described the achievements of his government over the one-year period as remarkable and attributable to competent economic management.


President Akufo-Addo noted that value-for-money ventures and the protection of the public purse to bring the dream of a happy and prosperous Ghana― a Ghana Beyond Aid― quickly within grasp, were possible only with nothing less than competence and integrity in the conduct of public transactions.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)


Created: 22 January 2018
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