President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, has assured micro and small scale enterprises across the country, reeling from the effects of the mismanagement of the economy that his government will implement a number of measures to turn the fortunes of the economy.
This turnaround, he explained, will empower the private sector as a whole, and the small business sector in particular, to drive Ghana towards economic prosperity, the generation of jobs and a rapid rise in the living standards of the Ghanaian people.
He was addressing a general meeting with the Private Enterprise Federation at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
Speaking under the theme: “Strategy for the Private sector,” he said, “The NPP will restore and maintain macroeconomic stability through the pursuit of sound policies on the basis of an enhanced institutional framework. Macroeconomic stability is built around three pillars: monetary discipline, fiscal discipline and financial stability.”
Enhancing Fiscal Discipline
Fiscal indiscipline has been the bane of economic management in the country. To address this, the IMF recently insisted on the passage of a Public Financial Management Act. However, the law, as enacted, is woefully inadequate, because it lacks the key elements that will protect the public purse from abuse.
Fiscal policy implementation, as it stands now, lacks three basic elements; the absence of a transparent institutional arrangement for providing quality fiscal information to the public, the absence of a mechanism for ensuring accountability in implementing optimal fiscal policies to guarantee the stability of the system, and the absence of an institution to ensure the credibility of fiscal projections provided by the Government.
Shifting the Focus of Economic Management from Taxation to Production
To address these challenges, the new administration will shift the focus of economic policy away from taxation to production by removing what Dr Bawumia famously terms the nuisance taxes.
The ensuing increase in production and economic growth, arising from a streamlining as well as the elimination and reduction of some of these taxes, will more than compensate for any temporary revenue shortfall.
In sum, we will make Ghana work again.
Ladies and gentlemen, easily the most critical problem facing our country and the number one priority for the incoming government is the lack of jobs especially for young people. We believe that job creation is essentially a private sector activity, and we will put in place the policy framework that will help businesses expand and create jobs, as well as promote the growth of entrepreneurship opportunities for young Ghanaians in particular.
“Our businesses cannot be competitive when the cost of capital is so high. Interest rates are hovering around 34%pa, there is inadequate medium-to-long term financing and venture capital funding, and inadequate credit financing for SMEs.
Our government will re-focus the National Investment Bank (NIB) to provide finance for the industrial sector. We shall establish an Industrial Development Fund (IDF) to finance critical private sector industrial initiatives and realign the focus of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to attract financing and investments into selected strategic industries,” he said