We’ll continue with Free SHS and other flagship programmes despite economic challenges – Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo has indicated that despite the current fiscal challenges in the country, government will continue with the implementation of the flagship Free SHS policy and other social interventions, introduced by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Addressing a gathering at the S.D. Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies in Wa, the President indicated that, government is aware of existing hurdles that have adversely impacted the economy.
According to him, the current economic situation has been largely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. He, however, stated that despite the present difficulties, government will continue with its social intervention programmes, due to promising measures in place.
“In as much as our nation is confronted with difficulties, caused largely by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its destructive impact on global supply chains and the operation of the global economy, the Ghanaian economy as indicated by the Minister for Finance yesterday, is rebounding strongly, after experiencing a positive but slow growth in 2020. Data from the Statistical Service puts the average growth rate of the economy for the first three quarters of 2021 at 5.2%; putting us on course to exceed our provisional growth outturn of 4.4% for 2021.
Our growth performance, compares very favourably with the IMF growth estimate of 3.7% for Sub-Saharan Africa, and 3.7% percent for the ECOWAS community. We’re still on course in our fiscal consolidation agenda. The Ghana Revenue Authority exceeded its 2021 tax revenue target. And we are confident we will achieve if not surpass, the 80 billion cedi target for this year.
“This combination of strong growth and domestic revenue mobilization, will enable us to meet our fiscal deficit target for 2021, and reduce the debt to GDP ratio, thereby providing fiscal space to continue to implement programmes such as our flagship Free SHS policy, the One District One Factory initiative and Planting for Food and Jobs”, President Akufo-Addo explained.
Speaking at the induction of a new registrar and Vice Chancellor of the S.D. Dombo University, President Akufo-Addo also intimated that the projected economic performance will enable government to continue with its road infrastructural projects and the creation of employment for the youth across the country.
He also used the occasion to tout the impact of the late Simon Diedong Dombo in the socio-political landscape in Ghana, eulogising his contributions to Ghana’s democratic gains.
Meanwhile, an economist with the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Prof. Godfred Alufar Bokpin, has warned of possible collapse of Ghana’s economy.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Monday, after the country’s debt stock hit high distress levels, Prof. Bokpin reiterated that the current debt situation could get worse by the end of September, if proper interventions are not implemented.
“When you see the proportion of the debt payment, relative to the size of the revenue envelope and you look at your rising debt and you look at the rate of economic growth and the drivers of that growth, you can reasonably predict that it’s just a matter of time that the economy will just collapse. We’re probably going to run into a little bit more difficulties towards the end of September”, he stated.