Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has touted the achievements of the government over the past eight months, saying: “We are fixing the ailing economy and putting in place the right policies that will achieve that objective.”
Addressing the annual delegates’ conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Cape Coast last Saturday, he said: “We are delivering on our promise of transforming the economy, and by the grace of God we will continue to deliver.”
The conference, which was on the theme: “NPP — Delivering on our promises: Our roots, our strength, our future”, attracted hundreds of delegates from across the regions and was used to, among others, take stock of the party’s achievements in the last few years.
Dr Bawumia said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP promised the nation that an NPP government would transform the economy by ensuring that “we replace incompetence in the management of the economy”.
“I must say, without any fear of contradiction, that President Akufo-Addo, indeed, replaced incompetence with competence in the management of our economy,” he said.
The Vice-President said the galaxy of competent members of the economic management team assembled by the President were formidable and fixing the problem of the economy.
He said the budget delivered by the Finance Minister had set the tone, adding: “We promised to reduce taxes and move economic management from a focus on taxation to a focus on production and we have delivered.”
Vice-President - Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
Taxes and levies
On taxes and levies, Dr Bawumia said the government had abolished excise duty on petroleum, levies imposed on ‘kayayei’ by local authorities, the one per cent Special Import Levy and also
initiated the process to abolish duty on the importation of spare parts.
He said the government’s re-profiling programme of the domestic debt, which involved the extension of tenor and issuance of longer-dated bonds, had been largely successful, adding that that had led to an extension of tenor with the issuance of the 15-year bond.
The Vice-President said the government was currently on its 2017 obligations to all statutory funds, which included being current on the payment of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), among others.
He said economic growth at the end of 2016 was 3.5 per cent, the lowest in 15 years, stressing that in 2017, as a result of restored confidence and sound economic policies, economic growth was expected to rise to 6.3 per cent, underpinned by improvement in industry, agriculture and oil.
Dr Bawumia said provisional estimates showed that the trade account recorded a surplus of US$1,429 million for the first half of 2017 due to a significant increase in export earnings, combined with lower imports.
That, he said, compared to an almost equivalent deficit of US$1,403.7 million over the same period in 2016.
He said in May 2017, the credit rating agency, Fitch, revised Ghana’s outlook on credit ratings from negative to stable because the country was making progress in stabilising the economy, with an expected revival in GDP growth and declining inflation.
The Vice-President further said the government had launched the Planting for Food and Jobs programme and reduced fertiliser prices by 50 per cent, from GH¢85 to GH¢57, thereby bringing relief to farmers in the country.
Touching on the fight against illegal mining, he said the government had launched a major offensive against galamsey in the country to protect water bodies and the environment.
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