Saturday, 9 January 2021

Editorial: Pursuing prudent fiscal measures the way forward

 

Last week, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated that, his next administration will continue to implement prudent fiscal measures to quicken the pace of fiscal consolidation.

Addressing Parliament during the presentation of his last State of the Nation Address (SoNA) in his first term, last week, he said his government, for the past four years, has recorded a number of significant milestones in our quest to formalise and modernise the Ghanaian economy.

It is expected that, in March this year, the Minister for Finance will go to Parliament to provide further details on the measures to be taken to restore the country to the path of economic recovery from the effect of the coronavirus.

The President believe it is the fairest and fastest way to achieve our goals. In recounting some of the milestone achievements of his government, he listed the National Identity Card, the National Digital Property Addressing System, the interoperability of mobile money transactions, the introduction of the paperless operations at the port, e-business registration system, and access to digital financial services are all part of the drive to formalise our economy, and enhance its productivity.

For years, there had been unhappiness and, sometimes, agitation on the subject of the geographic delineation of regions in the country. In the particular case of what was to become the Oti region, their demand for a new region stretched back to more than sixty (60) years.

This pushed the Akufo-Addo government to rollout a constitutional process for the creation of new regions. However, after some hurdles and stakeholder consultations, the people in the identified areas had the opportunity to vote in historic referenda which recorded an overwhelming approvals for the “Yes” vote in the referenda held in forty-seven (47) districts, across four existing regions. This led to the creation of six (6) new regions, and we now have sixteen (16) instead of the ten (10) regions that existed at the start of my administration.

The president could not finish his address without claiming the credit for the Free SHS.

“Four years ago, it sounded recklessly optimistic, but Free SHS and Free TVET are now entrenched parts of our educational setup. In a few years’ time, we can guarantee that the basic education for the workforce in our country would be at the secondary level. It is a transformational step we have taken, which should quicken the pace of development all round, and give us confidence in our future.

 

“In 2017, it appeared to some like the same old refrain when we said farmers and agriculture would get the highest priority. But we can see the difference it makes when a government treats farmers with respect, and spends resources and expertise on agriculture.”

Indeed, the four years of the previous Akufo-Addo administration has brought about some significant development to the economy of the country, but, a lot more need to be in regards to the fiscal prudence and sustainable debt management to forestall confident in the economy and investor confidence.

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