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Government is on the right path to building a nation beyond aid and putting the economy back on track, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated.


President Akufo-Addo said the economic management team, led by his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, was rising to the challenge and that the hard work was beginning to show results, adding that for the first time in a long time, Ghana’s macroeconomic fundamentals were solid and all the critical indices were pointing in the right direction.


"We have reduced taxes, we are bringing down inflation and interest rates, economic growth is increasing, from the alarming 3.6% at December 2016, to 7.9% in our first year, and the indications are that it will be even better this year," he disclosed, adding: “We have increased our international reserves, maintained relative exchange rate stability, reduced the debt to GDP ratio and the rate of debt accumulation, we have paid almost half of arrears inherited and, crucially, we are current on obligations to statutory funds”.


The president was delivering the State of the Nation address in Parliament in Accra, Thursday, in accordance with the requirement of Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.


President Akufo-Addo announced that implementation of the 3-year International Monetary Fund (IMF)-supported Extended Credit Facility Programme, which begun in 2015, would end this year and gave the assurance that the relatively good macroeconomic performance in 2017 would strongly support the successful completion of the IMF programme.


On job creation, he disclosed that government had put in place the structures to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and budding entrepreneurs through the challenging start-up years.


Furthermore, he said, Government had established the Nation Builders Corps to employ 100, 000 young persons in 2018 alone to assist in public sector service delivery in the areas of  health, education, agriculture, sanitation and the revenue collection department of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).


On education, the President said implementation of the Free SHS was a start towards the goal of having an educated and skilled workforce to be able to operate a modern economy.


President Akufo-Addo touched on Agriculture and indicated that the success of the Planting for Food and Jobs scheme had encouraged government to increase the scope of the programme and that, this year, some half a million farmers― up from the figure of two hundred thousand (200, 000)―  would be signed on to the programme.


He disclosed that GNPC, from the results of its pilot survey in the Voltaian basin, had established the presence of a working petroleum system.


Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)