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Full Speech: Budget Read By Finance Minister

Full Speech: Budget Read By Finance Minister

INTRODUCTION
1. Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members of
Parliament, on the authority of His Excellency the President
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I beg to move that this
august House approves the Financial Policy of the
Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December,
2020.

Ken Ofori Atta
2. Mr. Speaker, on the authority of His Excellency the
President, and in keeping with the requirement of Article
179 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, and
Section 21(3) of the PFM Act 2016 (ACT 921), may I
respectfully present the Budget Statement and Economic
Policies of Government for 2020 to this Honourable House.
3. I also submit before this august House, the 2019 Annual
Report on the Petroleum Funds, in accordance with Section
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48 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act
815), as amended, and a Report on the African Union 0.2
percent Import Levy.
4. Mr. Speaker, this statement is an abridged version of the
Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government
of Ghana for the 2020 Financial Year. I would like to request
the Hansard Department to capture the entire Budget
Statement and Economic Policy.
5. Mr. Speaker, in substance, 2019 has been a very good year
for Ghana. This is the year that one can confidently say that
God’s blessing of the hard work is beginning to manifest,
putting us on a positive trajectory for a proper lift. I say so
because:
i. We have won some painful but necessary battles
for God and country;
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ii. We have quietly but incontestably achieved
significant structural changes for the economy;
iii. We have stabilized greatly the macro-economic
turbulence that was all too regular a feature in the
management of the national economy;
iv. We have delivered on our flagship programmes;
v. Mr. Speaker, the gains made so far are significant.
6. It is proper to put this budget into perspective to
understand how far we have come. On Thursday, 2nd March
2017, I had the honour and privilege to present the first
budget of President Akufo-Addo to this House. At that time,
as you may recall, the economy was in a very bad shape,
suffocating under a mixed weight of debts, arrears, very
high cost of living, high youth unemployment and the worst
growth rate since 1994. Moreover:-
i. Growth in agriculture was declining;
ii. Industry growth was in the negative;
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iii. Interest rates were high;
iv. The banking system was weak;
v. Unemployment was rising; and
vi. Businesses and households were working mainly to
pay off their utility bills.

7. Mr. Speaker, the poor state of public finances, weak policy
implementation and lack of policy credibility resulted in
Ghana requesting an IMF bailout in August 2014. The
economic model being practised at the time was a simple,
unexamined formula of tax, borrow and spend without a
focus on production. The previous government resorted to
some draconian fiscal measures; notably the increase in the
tax burden on many items and activities, including
condoms, cutlasses as well as ‘kayayie’.
8. Mr. Speaker, a freeze was imposed on the public sector
from employing people. There were cuts to a number of
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areas of spending, most notably were cuts to research
allowances for lecturers, nursing training, and teacher
training allowances. Yet, the government then was
awarding billions of cedis worth of contracts without
knowing about how to pay for them. It was a case of living
for today and leaving tomorrow to take care of itself.
9. President Akufo-Addo’s maiden State of the Nation Address
captured the situation and his Government’s attitude
towards it succinctly: “Too much time, energy and
resources were spent in the past, in my view, without a
deliberate, conscious assessment of their impact on jobs,
and whether or not we were spending wisely to improve
the lives of the people, communities and businesses. But, I
was not elected by the overwhelming majority of the
Ghanaian people to complain. I was elected to get things
done. I was elected to fix what is broken and my
government and I are determined to do just that.”
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10. Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we have done within the
last three years. The President had set out his vision and
programmes in clear language in his maiden address. He
said this within the context of an economy that was
seriously challenged; the full extent of which we were yet
to discover. And yet, by January 2017, the nation was
hopeful because change had come. In the 2017 Budget, we
illustrated the NPP Government’s expectations, aspirations
and hope for Ghana’s future, using the miracle of Jesus
when he fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and two
fish. We also declared that the budget was going to “sow
the seeds for growth and jobs”.
11. Quite apart from the fragile structural policy and worsening
macro-fiscal situation passed on to us, this Government had
to also address serious contractual commitments. The
exorbitant energy bill from expensive, difficult-to-explain
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‘take or pay’ of Power Purchase Agreements; a pile up of
unpaid arrears and outstanding commitments, mostly
accrued from contracts awarded without the slightest care
for the public purse.
12. Mr. Speaker, if you add the cost of cleaning the financial
sector challenges to the long list of legacy bills that the
Akufo-Addo government had to settle, the cost to the
Ghanaian tax payer is around GHȼ33 billion.
13. Mr. Speaker exactly 2 years, 8 months and 12 days later, I
stand before you to declare that indeed God has been
gracious. His favour has shone on our nation and it is
because, in my humble view, we, their new leaders, choose
to serve His people rightly and sincerely.
14. Mr. Speaker, thankfully, we came in with a plan, stayed
focused, kept our discipline, kept our promises and
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managed to strike a balance between maintaining fiscal
discipline and supporting businesses and households with
tax reliefs, yes, we dared to abolish all manner of nuisance
taxes. Despite the limited resources at our disposal, we
implemented our plan which included the introduction of
stimulus packages for some viable but struggling
businesses; increasing spending significantly on social
services, and implemented our flagship programmes.
15. Prof K A Busia said, “The concept of poverty… should be
seen not only in terms of cash or the scarcity or
underdevelopment of material resources but also in human
conditions, in disease, ignorance, lack of training, and
education [and[… [t]he first essential requirement for
progress is the development of the human being.” That is
why, Mr. Speaker, President Akufo-Addo would never shy
away from the responsibility of investing to prepare our
children for their own future.
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16. As a result of us introducing the necessary combination of
focus, discipline, integrity, creativity, compassion and
competence, in just 32 months in office, Mr. Speaker, the
Lord has blessed our efforts. The economy has seen a
miraculous turnaround, moving now in the right direction.
I speak to the data, Mr. Speaker:
i. Economic growth rate has doubled under President
Akufo-Addo, rebounding strongly from 3.4 percent in
2016 (the lowest GDP growth rate since 1994);
averaging 7%;
ii. Inflation rate has fallen from 15.4 percent in
December 2016 to 7.6 percent (new series) in
September 2019, registering the lowest rate in 27
years; which makes 2019 the year with the slowest
ever rise in the prices of goods and service in Ghana
in the entire history of the Fourth Republic–– Yes, Mr.
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Speaker, 2019 has been good for Ghana because
when inflation slows down everybody benefits;
iii. The banking sector is on the rise again, recording by
mid-year, a year-on-year after tax profit of GHȼ1.67
billion, or 36 per cent, in 2019. This is good for Ghana
because when the banks are strong the economy is
strong;
iv. The 91-day treasury bill rate fell steadily from nearly
17 percent in December 2016 and now stands at 14.7
percent. This is good for Ghana because when the cost
of borrowing is low businesses expand, jobs are
created and spending rises;
v. We have reduced the fiscal deficit, which on cash and
commitment basis was below 5% this year, at 4.5
percent at the end of the third quarter of 2019;
vi. On the external front, the trade deficit has improved
from US$1.8 billion in 2016 to a surplus of US$2.6
billion in August 2019. This is good for Ghana as it
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helps to keep our currency stable and our economy
strong;
17. Today, we can be proud of ourselves for the progress we
have made together as Ghanaians. This competent
Government came into office with a plan. And, we are
delivering according to plan. In the President, the people of
Ghana are clear on what they voted for: leadership. Strong,
assured, decisive, intelligent, focused and compassionate
leadership. Election after election, he has been consistent
with his vision, focused on his priorities, and unwavering on
the path to getting us there. Not even two defeats could
shake him away from his convictions.
18. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand here and declare that the
President has redeemed virtually all the pledges he made
to the people of Ghana.
19. Mr. Speaker, the numbers, indeed, don’t lie and I have
some numbers that make interesting reading:
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i. 1.2 million Ghanaian students would have had access
to secondary education by 2020, justifying the
spending of Gh¢2.2billion. It is gratifying to note that
the first cohort of students under the programme
numbering about 362,000 are due to graduate in
2020.
ii. 1.9 million people have directly benefited from the
Planting for Food and Job programme;
iii. 97,373 graduates have been given an opportunity
under NABCO to better position them for future jobs;
iv. 83,000 Ghanaians have been recruited under the
Forest Plantation Programme to help restore our
environment;
v. A further 138,026 Ghanaians have been recruited
under various programmes to support public sector
delivery;
vi. 55,000 nurses have been recruited to enhance
healthcare delivery;
vii. 3.6 million Ghanaians have been registered under the
national ID programmes;
viii. 1,000 sanitary facilities are under construction to
address open defecation;
ix. 49,000 trainee nurses have been paid Gh¢468 million
in allowances;
x. 48,000 teacher trainees have also been paid Ghc532
million in allowances;
20. Mr. Speaker, to support Industry and Entrepreneurship;
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i. 181 companies have benefited from support
under the 1D1F programme;
ii. 12,000 start-up businesses have received
training support under the Government
Entrepreneurship Programme;
iii. 80 business incubation hubs have been set up
across the country to build the capacity of
entrepreneurs;
iv. 20,000 students have been trained under the
Student Entrepreneurship Initiative;
v. 100 disabled women have been empowered to
start businesses;
vi. Dagbon is finally at peace!
21. Mr. Speaker, in fulfilment of our promise, IPEP has
delivered the following:
i. 307 Ambulances have been procured for distribution
to each constituency and all regional and teaching
hospitals to enhance healthcare;
ii. 200 dams have been completed, and an additional 360
are dams under construction;
iii. 50 prefabricated grain warehouses have been
constructed to reduce post-harvest losses; and
iv. 50 rural markets are under construction to enhance
trade within our local assemblies.
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22. Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to express my
sincere gratitude to you and Honourable Members, for the
wise counsel, support, activism, opposition and cooperation
that you have given to the Executive since 2017. Dare I say,
our friends on the other side of this House have proven to
be very vocal Opposition.
23. Mr. Speaker, our macroeconomic achievements have not
gone unnoticed. Our discipline and determination to stay
focused has been recognized by our global partners namely
the UN, World bank and IMF to mention a few.
24. Mr. Speaker, this is manifested by:
i. the President selected as the co-Chair of the SDG
Advcoates;
ii. Ghana represented by the Minister of Finance as the
Chairperson of the Development Committee of the
World Bank; and
iii. Ghana represented by the Governor of the Bank of
Ghana appointed as the incoming Chair of the Board
of Governors of the Bretton Woods Institutions
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25. Mr. Speaker, the budget I will be presenting today is critical
in various respects:
i. First, it is an election year budget and we know the
history of such budgets;
ii. Second, it is the first, since 2015, to be done without
an IMF programme because of our successful
completion of the derailed IMF programme last April;
and
iii. Third, it is the first election year budget to be
prepared under the Fiscal Responsibility Act (2018),
which places a 5 per cent cap on fiscal deficit in any
given year;
26. Mr. Speaker, in 2020, Government will make a strong push
on the under-listed priorities in order to consolidate the
gains achieved within the last three years and to drive our
economic transformation forward in line with the
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President’s Consolidated Programme and the Ghana
Beyond Aid vision:
i. Domestic Revenue Mobilization: We will take
radical policy and institutional reforms towards
raising our tax-to-GDP ratio over the medium term
from under 13 percent currently to around 20
percent. The focus will be on efficiency and basebroadening rather than imposing new taxes on our
people and businesses. This way, we can raise our
domestic contribution to our ambitious
transformation agenda, in line with the Ghana
Beyond Aid vision;
ii. Business Regulatory Reforms: A 3-year reform
initiative, coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and
Industry, will be implemented to make Ghana one
of the most transparently and efficiently regulated
business environments in Africa. This will empower
our local businesses and also help us realise our
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ambition of making Ghana the Gateway to Business
in West Africa;
iii. Intensified Drive for FDI: We need higher
amounts of external private capital to complement
Government resources in driving our
transformation. So, we will aggressively go after
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). To this end, GIPC
will be better resourced with human and financial
capital. In addition, Government has establish an
Inter-Ministerial Committee to provide coordinated
policy guidance and support to the FDI drive;
iv. Enhanced Financial Support to Local
Enterprises: Government will deploy early in 2020
a number of intiative to enhance the access of our
business to finance, including medium and longterm capital. These include the new National
Development Bank, the Ghana Incentives-based
Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending
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(GIRSAL), the Ghana Commodity Exchange, and a
strengthened Venture Capital Trust Fund;
v. International Financial Services Centre. Work
is progressing steadily on preparations to realise
Government vision of establishing Ghana as a
regional financial services centre in West Africa. The
Concept Note has been approved by Government
and work is ongoing to draft an International
Financial Services (IFS) Bill for broader stakeholder
consultations;
vi. Digitization: We aim to use digitization to
transform our development path in line with the
global realities of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We
will continue the impressive achievements made
over the last three years in using digitization to
improve government services and make it more
accessible to Ghanaians. We will also intensify
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efforts to support the development of Fintech and
the knowledge economy in Ghana;
vii. Accelerated Infrastructure Development: We
will accelerate financing for infrastructure by
actively leveraging innovative sources of finance. To
this end, we are strengthening the capacity the
Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) to tap
into global financial markets, including blended
finance and sovereign wealth funds. Supporting
private sector development;
viii. Science and Technology: The foundation for
industrialization is science and technology.
Government has therefore resolved to complement
our advances in human capital in the education
sector with a focused push to develop our national
technological capability. To this end, Government,
through the Ministry of Science, Environment,
Technology and Innovation (MESTI) will establish
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the Ghana Design and Manufacturing Centre
(GDMC). A center of excellence in design,
manufacturing and technology commercialization,
GDMC will facilitate the incubation of new
technological industries and serve as a resource for
national research institutions and private industry.
ix. Private Sector: Mr. Speaker, the private sector
remains the key to jobs and transformation of our
economy. We have had meaningful discussions,
and MoTI has established the Public Private
Dialogue series, to ensure a coordinated strategy
for transformation.
27. Mr. Speaker, 2020 is an election year. I would like to take
this opportunity to inform this august House on behalf of
the President that all the needed resources required shall
be marshalled for the Electoral Commission to ensure that
we have credible, free and fair elections. Ghana remains
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one of the most stable and peaceful countries in the world
and we intend to maintain it that way.

28. In spite of the year being an election year, Mr. Speaker, let
me repeat that President Akufo-Addo and his Government
will ensure that the perennial excessive spending during
such periods, will not happen in 2020. We shall work within
the 2020 appropriated resource envelop and adhere to the
Fiscal Responsibility Act to maintain fiscal discipline. We will
do so, not because we are complacent of our chances. No.
We will do so because the nation needs it and we are not
prepared to throw away all the sacrifices and gains the
people and their Government have made in the last three
years. We shall consolidate our macroeconomic gains and
offer businesses and households the predictability and
stability that they need to manage their lives.
29. Mr. Speaker, Ghana has developed an integrated
institutional framework for the implementation of the SDGs,
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from the national to the sub-national levels. The SDGs have
been embedded in the President’s Coordinated Programme
for Economic and Social Development Policies, national
policies and objectives of the Government’s flagship
programmes.
30. Mr. Speaker, this systematic approach has made it possible
for Ghana to be the first country in the world to incorporate
the SDGs into our national Chart of Accounts, allowing us
to track spending towards the SDGs targets.
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THE MACROECONOMY
31. Mr. Speaker, for the last two years (2018 and 2019), Ghana
has been amongst the fastest growing economies in the
world! Ghana’s recent growth has not been primarily driven
by oil, it has been more broad-based. In fact, Non-oil GDP
has increased from 4.6% in 2016 to 6.5% in 2018 and is
projected to reach 6.0% in 2019 and 6.7% in 2020,
respectively, reflecting the impact of our flagship
programmes.
32. Mr. Speaker, the increased economic growth has been the
result of increased agricultural and industrial output. As a
result of the successful Planting for Food and Jobs Program,
agricultural GDP growth has increased from 2.9 percent in
2016 to 4.8 percent in 2018 and projected to reach 6.4
percent in 2019. It is heartening to note that unlike in the
past, Ghana has not had to import maize for food
consumption in the last two years. Industry has also seen
a recovery with industry growth increasing from 4.3 percent
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in 2016 to 10.6 percent in 2018, and projected to grow by
8.8 percent in 2019. This is real change.
33. Mr. Speaker, the restoration and sustainability of
macroeconomic stability has been a cornerstone of the
economic policy of President Akufo-Addo’s government.
Without macroeconomic stability, all the goals that we have
set for ourselves as a country will not be achieved. As a
demonstration of our commitment to macroeconomic
stability, we have pursued a policy of fiscal discipline which
we have supported with the passage of the Fiscal
Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982) (that limits the fiscal
deficit in any year to 5% of GDP) and the establishment of
a Fiscal Council.
34. Mr. Speaker, the fiscal deficit (on cash basis) has
significantly fallen from 6.5% of GDP in 2016 to 4.5% of
GDP in September 2019. For the first time in a decade,
Ghana recorded primary surpluses (that is our tax revenues
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exceeded all government spending—excluding debt service
payments) for two years in a row. That is real change!
35. Economic management under the Fourth Republic, with the
exception of 2004, has tended to follow a pattern of political
business cycle where election years have been
characterised by fiscal indiscipline. We have witnessed
various governments spending excessively to finance offbudget expenditures that led to major fiscal slippages, as
in the case of 2016, when the then Government recorded a
fiscal deficit of 6.5 percent against its own target of 3.9
percent. Therefore, the decision of the President to impose
on himself, a binding legislative constraint, with
accompanying sanctions for me as the Finance Minister, I
believe this a clear manifestation of our commitment to
fiscal discipline. We pledge to Ghanaians that we will not
derail this economy that we have worked so hard to fix.
This is real change!
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Fiscal Performance for 2019
36. Mr. Speaker, Government remains committed to
safeguarding the macro-fiscal gains that we have achieved
over the last three years in the management of the nation’s
public finances. The implementation of the Fiscal
Responsibility Act, the establishment and operationalisation
of the Fiscal Responsibility Advisory and Financial Stability
Councils, have complemented several other institutional
and structural reforms to strengthen fiscal discipline and
ensure irreversibility of policies.
37. Mr. Speaker, over the first nine months of the 2019 fiscal
year, provisional fiscal data indicates that the fiscal deficit
arising from Government’s fiscal operations was 4.5 percent
of GDP on cash basis. This compares to a deficit target of
4.1 percent of GDP for the period. The higher-thanprogrammed fiscal deficit resulted mainly from revenue
underperformance. Although expenditures were also below
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target, the expenditure execution rate was higher than
revenue execution rate.
38. Mr. Speaker, Total Revenue and Grants for the period,
amounted to GH¢36.3 billion (10.5% of GDP). The outturn
represents a per annum growth of 9.2 percent despite a
13.6 percent shortfall relative to the target of GH¢42.0
billion (12.1 percent of GDP).
39. Mr. Speaker, the general underperformance of tax revenue
mainly stems from shortfalls in International Trade taxes
and on Income and Property taxes. The shortfall in
international trade taxes, which consist of Import Duty and
Levies, External VAT, and Customs National Health and
GETFund levies, resulted from lower import volumes, high
admittance of imported goods into the zero-rated and/or
tax-exempt import brackets and the lower tariff bands, up
to the 10 percent tariff levels.
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40. Total Expenditure including arrears clearance amounted to
GH¢51.9 billion (15.1% of GDP) compared to the target of
GH¢56.1 billion (16.2 percent of GDP). Except for Interest
Payments, all expenditure line items were contained within
their respective targets.
41. Mr. Speaker, following Government’s fiscal operations, the
overall fiscal balance on cash basis resulted in a deficit of
GH¢15.7 billion (equivalent to 4.5 percent of GDP) against
the target of GH¢14.2 billion (or 4.1 percent of GDP). The
higher-than-programmed financing (especially from
domestic sources) stems mainly from the frontloading of
financing requirements to meet Government expenditures
and other debt service obligations, including for the
settlement of uncovered Government auctions following
substantial revenue shortfalls.
42. Mr. Speaker, the Primary Balance for the period was a
deficit of GH¢916 million (0.3% of GDP) against the
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targeted Primary Surplus of GH¢201.7 million (0.1% of
GDP).
Outlook for End-year 2019
43. Mr. Speaker, based on the provisional fiscal outturn for the
first nine months of the year, revised projection for the year
resulted in Total Revenue and Grants of GH¢54.6 billion
(15.8% of GDP). This projection represents a 7.4 percent
shortfall relative to the 2019 revised annual budget target
of GH¢58.9 billion (17.0% of GDP).
44. Although available data supports the fact that revenue
mobilisation is most robust in the last quarter of every year,
it is prudent to remain conservative with the revenue
projections in order to avoid excess spending in the last
quarter.
45. Mr. Speaker, consequently, discretionary expenditures will
be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the fiscal deficit
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target is not compromised and remains within the Fiscal
Responsibility Rule target of not more than 5 percent of
GDP. Specifically, the fiscal deficit is projected to reach
about 4.7 percent of GDP with a Primary Surplus of about
0.9 percent of GDP.
46. Mr. Speaker, total public debt has increased from GHC122.3
billion in 2016 to GHC208.6 billion (including the cost of the
banking sector clean-up) at the end of September 2019.
However, the strong fiscal adjustment and better debt
management has meant that the rate of debt accumulation
(excluding the banking sector clean-up) of 14.3 percent, is
the second lowest in the last decade. The debt to GDP ratio
increased from 56.9 percent in 2016 to 57.5 percent at the
end of September 2019, excluding the financial sector
bailout. Including the financial sector bailout and energy
payments, the debt to GDP ratio was 60.55 as at end
September 2019.
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47. Mr. Speaker, we promised to move the economic policy
away from one focused on taxation to one focused on
production and we have done just that over the last three
year. I would like to note that:
i. Import duties were reduced by 50% from April
2019;
ii. The 1% Special import levy was abolished;
iii. Excise duty on petroleum was abolished;
iv. 17.5% VAT on financial services was abolished;
v. 17.5% VAT on selected important medicines was
abolished;
vi. 17.5% VAT on Real Estate Sales was abolished;
vii. 17.5% VAT on domestic airline tickets was
abolished;
viii. Abolished import duty on the importation of
spare parts;
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ix. Abolished taxation of gains from the realisation
of securities listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange
and publicly held securities approved by the SEC;
x. Abolished levies imposed on Kayayei; and
xi. Reduced Electricity tariffs.
48. Notwithstanding the fact that the Communications Service
Tax was recently increased from 6% to 9%, the overall
direction regarding the burden of taxation on Ghanaians
has been overwhelmingly downward in the last three years.
49. Mr. Speaker, inflation has declined from 15.4% in 2016 to
7.6% (new series) as at September 2019. Indeed, inflation
has been in single digits since April 2018 (i.e. for the last
18 months) and is at its lowest rate in 27 years. That is real
change.
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50. Mr. Speaker, in line with the decline in inflation, interest
rates have also been on a downward trend, with average
bank lending rates falling significantly from 31.7% in 2016
to 24% by September 2019.
51. Mr. Speaker, lending rates are still high. Improvements in
macroeconomic environments alone will not bring interest
rates down. There are many other structural factors in our
financial system that are causing high interest rates. In
addition to sustaining macroeconomic stability,
Government is actively working to remove these structural
bottlenecks to support lower interest rates.
52. Mr. Speaker, it was clear after taking office that we had
inherited a financial system tottering on the edge of
collapse, which was known to the previous Government but
was negligently left unaddressed. The new leadership of
the Bank of Ghana therefore moved decisively to restore
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soundness and stability to the financial system. For Banks,
Savings and Loans and Microfinance companies, 4.6 million
depositors were at risk of losing their entire savings. The
Bank of Ghana undertook a number of reforms including
increases in minimum capital requirement, revocation of
the licenses of insolvent banks resulted in the consolidation
of banks from 34 to 23 by the end of December 2018.
Consequently, we now have a banking sector that is wellcapitalized, liquid, and well-positioned to improve the flow
of funds in the economy and to drive private-sector-led
growth and development.
53. This unexpected fiscal cost of the clean-up has thus far cost
the tax payer over GHC13 billion in order to save the
deposits of bank, savings and loan and microfinance
companies. It has also led to an unplanned one-time
increase in Ghana’s debt stock.
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54. Mr. Speaker, Ghana’s external payments position has
strengthened. For the first time in over two decades, the
trade balance (the difference between what we export and
what we import) recorded a surplus in 2017, and even
larger surplus in 2018 largely because of increased
exports. The positive trade balance has resulted in a
significant narrowing of the current account deficit as a
percent of GDP. This is real change!
55. The stronger external position has resulted in an
accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, which have
increased from $6.1 billion in 2016 (3.5 months of import
cover) to $8.2 billion in September 2019 (4.3 months of
import cover). This is real change.
56. Mr. Speaker, the strong macroeconomic fundamentals
posted by the economy has also resulted in a significant
decline in the rate of depreciation of the cedi. The data
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shows that the annual depreciation of the cedi to the US
dollar between 2017 and 2019 has been the slowest since
2012. Before we assumed office, the cedi depreciated by
14.5% in 2013, 31.2% in 2014, 15.7% in 2015 and 9.7%
in 2016 (an annual average of 17.7%). Since 2017
however, the cedi has depreciated by an average of 7.8%.
This is real change!
57. Mr. Speaker, we should recall that the weak fundamentals
of the economy meant that the NDC government had to
end up seeking a bailout from the IMF in 2015! The
difference today is stark and glaring. Under our competent
economic management, the fundamentals have
strengthened, and Ghana successfully exited the IMF
program. This is real change!
58. Mr. Speaker, indeed the strength of Ghana’s fundamentals
was confirmed on March 16, 2019 by Standard and Poor’s
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(S&P) Global which affirmed Ghana’s sovereign rating as B
with a stable outlook after upgrading Ghana’s sovereign
credit rating from B- to B with a stable outlook last year.
This was the first upgrade by S&P for Ghana in 10 years!
This is real change!
59. Mr. Speaker, with stronger finances, Government also
transferred some GH¢3.1 billion of Tier 2 pension funds into
the custodial accounts of the pension schemes of the labour
unions, funds that had been outstanding since 2013. That
is real change.
60. Mr. Speaker, we have also established the National
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, under which
3,000 start-ups and small businesses have benefitted from
a special government business support programme with
beneficiaries receiving between GH¢10,000 and
GH¢100,000 each, at a special interest rate of 10%. That
is real change.
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2020 AND MEDIUM-TERM MACROECONOMIC TARGETS
61. Mr. Speaker, I now turn to the medium term
macroeconomic targets.
62. Following our significant progress in restoring
macroeconomic stability over the past 32 months, we will
continue to implement policies and programmes to ensure
the fulfilment of our promises to our people. The following
macroeconomic targets are set for the medium term (2020-
2023):
i. Overall Real GDP growth to average 5.7 percent for
the period;
ii. Non-Oil Real GDP to grow at an average of 5.9 percent
for the period;
iii. Inflation to be within the target band of 8±2 percent;
40
iv. Overall fiscal deficit to remain within the Fiscal
Responsibility Act Threshold of not more than 5
percent of GDP;
v. The primary balance to be in a surplus; and
vi. Gross International Reserves to cover at least 3.5
months of imports of goods and services.
63. Mr. Speaker, based on the overall macroeconomic objective
of “Consolidating the Gains for Growth, Jobs, and Security”,
the following specific macroeconomic targets have been
set for the 2020 fiscal year:
i. Overall Real GDP growth of 6.8 percent;
ii. Non-Oil Real GDP growth of 6.7 percent;
iii. End-period inflation of 8.0 percent;
iv. Fiscal deficit of 4.7 percent of GDP;
v. Primary surplus of 0.8 percent of GDP; and
vi. Gross International Reserves to cover not less than 3.5
months of imports of goods and services.
41
64. Mr. Speaker, to further strengthen our commitment to
maintaining fiscal discipline, the focus of fiscal policy in
2020 is to ensure that the fiscal deficit, which remains the
principal fiscal anchor is reduced to low and sustainable
levels, enough to reduce the overall public debt burden and
create the needed fiscal space over the medium-term.
Resource Mobilization for 2020
65. Mr. Speaker, Total Revenue and Grants for 2020 is
projected at GH¢67.1 billion (16.9% of GDP), up from a
projected outturn for 2019 of GH¢54.6 billion (15.8% of
GDP). Domestic Revenue is estimated at GH¢65.8 billion,
representing an annual growth of 22.5 percent over the
projected outturn for 2019. Grants disbursement from
Development Partners is estimated at GH¢1.2 billion (0.3%
of GDP) and a nominal growth of 48.8 percent over the
projected outturn of GH¢833.2 million in 2019.
42
Resource Allocation for 2020
66. Mr. Speaker, Total Expenditure (including clearance of
Arrears) is projected at GH¢85.9 billion (21.6% of GDP) in
2020. The expenditure estimate for 2020 represents a
growth of 21.2 percent above the projected outturn for
2019.
67. Mr. Speaker, wages and salaries are projected at GH¢22.9
billion and constitute 26.7 percent of the Total Expenditure
(including Arrears clearance). Use of Goods and Services is
also projected at GH¢8.3 billion (2.1% of GDP) and 9.7
percent of the Total Expenditure (incl. Arrears clearance).
Interest Payments on public debt is projected at GH¢21.7
billion (5.4% of GDP).
68. Mr. Speaker, government will continue with the
implementation of the Earmarked Funds Capping and
Realignment Act to reduce budget rigidities and create
43
fiscal space to fund growth-enhancing expenditures.
Consequently, transfers to Statutory Funds as well as all
other earmarked funds are estimated at GH¢15.6 billion
(3.9% of GDP) in 2020, representing 19.6 percent growth
over the projected outturn for 2019.
69. Mr. Speaker, capital Expenditure is projected at GH¢9.3
billion (2.3% of GDP), representing 53.5 percent increase
over the 2019 projected outturn. Of this amount, Domestic
Financed Capital Expenditure is estimated at GH¢3.8 billion
(0.9% of GDP), while Foreign Financed Capital Expenditure
is estimated at GH¢5.5 billion (1.4% of GDP), to be funded
by a combination of Project Grants and Loans.
Budget balances and financing operations for 2020
70. Mr. Speaker, based on the estimates for Total Revenue &
Grants and Total Expenditure, the 2020 fiscal operations
will result in a cash deficit of GH¢18.9 billion, equivalent to
4.7 percent of GDP. Mr. Speaker, financing of the fiscal
deficit from domestic sources will amount to GH¢8.3 billion
44
(2.0% of GDP) while foreign financing of the deficit will
amount to GH¢10.6 billion (2.7% of GDP) and will include
a planned international capital market programme to raise
up to US$3 billion, of which, US$2.0billion will support the
implementation of the 2020 budget as well as for domestic
liability management. Mr. Speaker, Primary Surplus
equivalent to 0.7 percent of GDP (GH¢3.0 billion) is
estimated for 2020.
Petroleum revenue for 2020
71. Mr. Speaker, the total petroleum revenue for 2020 is
projected at US$1,150.84 million. In line with the PRMA, we
would like to propose the allocation of the petroleum
revenue as follows:
i. Allocate US$332.16 million to GNPC for its Equity
Financing Cost (US$218.10 million) and share of the net
Carried and Participating Interest (US$114.02 million);
ii. Allocate 70 percent of the Benchmark Revenue of
US$818.68 million (i.e. US$573.08 million) to ABFA;
45
iii. Allocate 30 percent of the Benchmark revenue (i.e.
US$245.60 million) to the Ghana Petroleum Funds; and
iv. Allocate US$171.92 million of the Ghana Petroleum
Funds amount to the Ghana Stabilisation Fund and
US$73.68 million to the Ghana Heritage Fund.
Capping the Ghana Stabilisation Fund
72. Mr. Speaker, the Government will maintain the cap on the
Ghana Stabilisation Fund at US$300 million, in line with
Section 23(3) of the PRMA.
Revenue Measures
73. Mr. Speaker, Government shall continue to provide the
necessary support to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)
in their ongoing reforms for 2020 and the medium term to
optimize revenue collection. The full year yield from the
2019 midyear revenue measures are expected to be robust
in 2020 to complement tax compliance efforts. Government
46
will pursue the following revenue measures, among others,
to boost domestic revenue:
i. Government shall renew and extend the National
Fiscal Stabilisation Levy and Special Import Levies
(SIL) for five years (5) to support the Budget; and
ii. In line with Government policy, the personal income
tax band will be adjusted and the necessary
Parliamentary approval sought to ensure that the 12
percent minimum wage increase for 2020 is taxexempt.
iii. Personal Reliefs such as marriage relief, child
education relief and old age relief which were last
adjusted in 2015 will also be reviewed upwards,
consistent with government commitment to support
families.
47
74. To address the challenges of revenue mobilisation,
Government will restructure the tax system and develop a
comprehensive revenue policy and strategy.
75. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) occupies a critical
position in the economy and is responsible for
approximately 70 percent of domestic revenues. After 10
years of integration, Government is ready to carry out the
next generation of reforms in revenue administration. A
transformation program centred around the three main
themes of People, Technology, and Service will be
structured with the new leadership of the GRA to create a
‘NEW GRA’ that will reflect the very best of efficiency and
productivity.
Compliance Measures for the Petroleum Downstream
Sector
76. Mr. speaker, over the years we have experienced underreporting, diversion and dilution of fuel products and
general non-compliance in the petroleum downstream
48
sector. This causes Government to lose considerable
revenue. In the year ahead the spotlight will be turned on
the sector to address these irregularities and indiscipline
that have become characteristic of this industry. The
envisaged actions include:
i. Providing additional powers to the relevant institutions
and enhancing punitive sanctions to check the abuses;
ii. Revoking the licenses of recalcitrant players in the
industry and prosecuting directors and key personnel
of such entities;
iii. Automating all processes in the sector to reduce
human interventions and provide transparency; and
iv. instituting stricter monitoring controls.
Energy sector
Update on excess capacity challenges in the energy
sector
49
77. Mr. Speaker, as part of the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review,
Government announced its intention to rationalize
commercial agreements in Ghana’s energy sector –
including, reassessing all take-or-pay contracts and
imposing a moratorium on the signing of new agreements
in the energy sector – with a view to establishing a
managed transition to overcome the unsustainable excess
supply situation that continues to pose a grave risk to the
country’s economic progress.
78. Consequently, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of
Energy, on 26 August 2019, hosted Ghana’s Independent
Power Producers and Gas Suppliers at a stakeholder forum,
during which Government reiterated the urgent need for
these energy sector interventions and outlined
Government’s intended approach to implementing them.
50
79. As well, Government invited our IPPs and Gas Suppliers to
partner and collaborate with Government in this crucial
exercise, as Government seeks a thoughtful and managed
transition from the onerous Take-or-Pay paradigm towards
a balanced contractual relationship capable of delivering
fair, enduring energy solutions that reflect reality and offer
long-term sustainability for Power Purchase Agreements
(PPAs) and Gas Supply Agreements (GSAs) in Ghana.
80. Subsequently, on 28 October 2019, Government
inaugurated a Steering Committee under the Energy Sector
Recovery Task Force, whose purpose it is to take
responsibility for the collaborative, bilateral consultation
process between Government and each Independent
Power Producer (IPP) and Gas Supplier (GS), designed to
help Government and its energy sector partners achieve a
managed transition towards more balanced, long-term
relationships and sustainable energy partnerships.
51
81. Mr. Speaker, this collaborative, bilateral consultation
process, which has, so far, been welcomed by the investor
community, will provide a forum for stakeholders to
contribute to Ghana’s energy strategy, which is
fundamental to the country’s industrialization and
sustainable growth.
82. In this regard, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform this
august house that Government Negotiating Teams have
been constituted and are now close to completing the first
round of bilateral consultation meetings with several IPPs,
as well as project sponsors. Significantly, Government
views these collaborative, bilateral consultations as an
essential exercise, which not only limits downside risks to
investors over the medium to long term, but also
demonstrates Government’s full commitment to
progressively restoring confidence in the energy sector as
52
well as across other key sectors in our rapidly growing
economy.
83. Mr. Speaker, it is also worth highlighting, that in line with
these energy sector interventions and to ensure the success
of the bilateral consultation process, Government, in line
with the decision taken in the July Mid-Year Review, has
formally instructed sector Ministries, Departments and
Agencies (MDAs) as follows:
i. to suspend with immediate effect all ongoing
negotiations on PPAs, and GSAs, LNG Sale and Purchase
Agreements (LNG SPAs), or any other long term Take–
or-Pay contracts for power or gas (Long Term Take-orPay Contracts) until further notice;
ii. that Government has placed a complete moratorium on
the signing of new PPAs, GSAs, and Put-Call Option
Agreements (PCOAs), and hereby instructs ECG, GNPC,
GNGC, and VRA to abstain from entering into any new
53
PPAs, GSAs, LNG SPAs, Long Term Take or Pay Contracts
and PCOAs until further notice;
iii. that all future PPAs, and GSAs, LNG SPAs and Long Term
Take or Pay Contracts shall be subject to competitive and
transparent procurement procedures, and Government
will, henceforth, not entertain or accept any unsolicited
proposals.
84. Government intends to enforce these interventions and
expects strict compliance by all affected MDAs and potential
investors. In this regard, Government will notify MDAs on a
case by case basis, of any applicable exceptions with regard
to the objectives of the Energy Sector Recovery Programme
(ESRP), a roadmap jointly developed by the Government of
Ghana and the World Bank, which delineates immediate,
near-term, and medium-term actions needed to achieve
Government’s aim of bringing the sector into balance in the
medium- term.
54
85. Mr. Speaker, we expect this to be a gradual but challenging
process with many potential complexities however,
Government remains undeterred and will spare no effort to
ensure that it is fully prepared financially, organizationally
and with the requisite technical wherewithal to confront
these challenges head-on.
86. Additionally, as part of the rationalization process, the
Karpowership has been relocated to the Western Region
and retrofitted to use gas, instead of HFO. Karpowership
will thus become the key off-taker for the take or pay
Sankofa gas. This will generate substantial savings for
Government.
87. Indeed, unlike in the past, this Government recognizes that
a focused, disciplined and coordinated approach is required
to resolve the substantial challenges in the energy sector.
88. In this regard, Government aims, through this consultation
process, to, among other things, create a standardized,
sustainable framework for future PPA and GSA contracting,
55
which all new IPPs and Gas Suppliers who wish to
participate in Ghana’s energy sector will be required to
adopt in the future.
89. Truly, Mr. Speaker, the staggering costs and negative
macro-fiscal impact of Ghana’s excess power and gas
supply problem, necessitates the full force and
uninterrupted focus of Government in the execution of this
all-important exercise. And Mr. Speaker, this is precisely
what we intend to do.
90. Mr. Speaker, as we all know, on July 30, 2019, Government
suspended the Power Distribution Service (PDS)
concession, following Government’s detection of
fundamental and material breaches of PDS’s obligations in
the provision of payment securities for the transaction and
related matters. After further investigations and extensive
consultations with relevant stakeholders, Government, on
56
October 19, 2019 announced its decision to terminate the
PDS concession.
91. Regardless, Government is fully committed to private sector
participation in ECG and is focused on moving forward with
urgency to find a suitable replacement for the PDS
arrangements. Moreover, we are prepared to review the
transaction structure and indeed, recognize the need to
improve significantly the management of ECG, by bringing
in world-class private sector expertise and attracting
adequate private capital.
92. Mr. Speaker, considering ECG’s current distribution systems
losses of 24% – comprising 13% commercial and 11%
technical losses – Government is truly motivated by the
urgent need to reduce these losses and improve service
quality through the effective deployment of modern
technology and world-class technical expertise, with a view
to creating a financially viable power distribution sector that
57
is sufficiently equipped to meet the current and future
needs of Ghanaian households and businesses.
93. Mr. Speaker, as we crystalize plans for the future of ECG,
Government is also enthused by the critical need to ensure
the transfer of skills with a view to building local capacity
as well as introducing international best practices to
enhance the operational, technical, commercial and
financial wherewithal of our national electricity distribution
utility.
94. Against this backdrop, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to
announce that Government intends to initiate an
accelerated tender process to select a new private partner
for ECG in the coming months. It is indeed Government’s
intention to make relevant adjustments to enhance the
existing bid documents and tailor the process to optimize
the selection from companies having a track record of
managing and operating a comparable utility, so as to
58
achieve a fair, transparent and expeditious closure of the
transaction.
95. Mr. Speaker, we cannot overstate the importance of
learning from past mistakes if we are to make sound
decisions going forward. However, we have no doubt that
a well-executed partnership between ECG and the “right”
technical and financial partners, will certainly improve our
distribution capabilities and enhance end-user experiences.
96. In this regard, heightened scrutiny will be brought to bear
in the design and implementation of the financial and
technical evaluation criteria to ensure that interested
bidders not only have credibility and extensive experience
in operating and managing a comparable electricity utility,
but also possess the financial wherewithal to make the
requisite investments in ECG to achieve significant
reductions in technical and commercial losses, as well as
drive operational efficiency to deliver sustained service
reliability for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
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97. Mr. Speaker, while restoring private sector participation in
the management, operation and financing of the required
investments in ECG’s distribution assets, Government will
make every effort to avoid the pitfalls that the PDS
concession encountered and institute broad Ghanaian
institutional participation, as well as democratize local
equity participation, with an eventual listing on the Ghana
Stock Exchange.
98. Indeed Mr. Speaker, let me be clear, that the decisions we
take in respect of this transaction, will continue to affirm
our time-honoured reputation as a business-friendly nation
that respects the rule of law, and expects to remain an
attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment.
99. Mr. Speaker, while on the subject, Ghana remains
committed to its relationship with the Millennium Challenge
Corporation (MCC). Indeed, Government fully respects and
is committed to the essential principles underlying the
relationship between the MCC and the Government of
60
Ghana, as well as the overall bilateral relationship between
Ghana and the United States
100. Moreover, Government remains committed to the energy
sector reforms, as envisioned under both the MCC Compact
and the Energy Sector Recovery Program (ESRP),
developed with the support of the World Bank.
Financial Services
101. Mr. Speaker, following the successful completion of reforms
in the banking sector which begun in August 2017 and
ended in January 2019, we now have a more resilient
sector, well positioned to support the economic growth
agenda of the government. Banks are beginning to refocus
on their core mandate of financial intermediation based on
their strong capital base after the recent completion of the
recapitalization exercise.
61
102. A well-capitalized, solvent, liquid, and profitable, and
resilient banking sector has emerged with improved
financial soundness indicators in line with expectations.
Even with fewer banks, asset growth within the banking
sector in 2019 continues to be robust, underpinned by
sustained growth in deposits and higher capital levels while
credit has continued to recover compared to the same
period last year.
103. Mr. Speaker, at the start of the reforms in August 2017,
total assets were GH¢89.1 billion for a sector that had 36
banks, and two years after the reform process started, total
assets have increased to GH¢115.2 billion at end August
2019 with only 23 banks. In the same direction, total
deposits have improved from GH¢55.7 billion to GH¢76.0
billion over the same comparative period, reflecting a
stronger deposit base owing to more trust and confidence
in the banking sector with fewer but stronger banks.
62
104. Banks’ profitability has also been greatly enhanced with a
significant pick-up in profit after tax in 2019 compared to
the previous year. The sector’s solvency remains strong,
with the Capital Adequacy Ratio, even under the more
stringent capital requirement directive under the Base II/III
framework, well above the new regulatory minimum of 13
percent.
105. Mr. Speaker, similar to the banking sector and prior to the
reforms, the specialized deposit-taking institutions (SDI)
sector was plagued with acute liquidity and insolvency
challenges. Their continued existence posed severe risks to
the stability of the financial system and to depositors. As a
result, in two separate clean up exercises the licenses of
these insolvent institutions were revoked in order to curtail
a spill over of these weaknesses to other sectors of the
financial industry.
106. Mr. Speaker, insolvent specialized deposit institutions
comprising of 23 savings and loans and finance house
63
companies, and 347 microfinance companies and Non-Bank
Financial Institutions comprising of 39 micro credit
companies, one dormant leasing company and one
dormant remittance company were also resolved in May
and August 2019 respectively to safeguard the financial
system against potential contagion and weaknesses in the
SDI sector which threatened to erode the gains made in the
banking sector.
107. It is important to note that although the clean-up exercises
were completed quite recently there are already indications
of improved performance within the SDI sector evidenced
by improved capital positions, profitability, management
efficiency and liquidity within the sector.
108. The completion of reforms within the Banks and SDIs
Industry in August 2019 was timely and paved way for the
operationalization of the Ghana Deposit Protection scheme
in December 2019. The scheme will protect the national
budget from costs arising from banking sector failure, if that
64
were even to happen in the future, and ensure that going
forward all depositor’s funds are insured against bank and
SDI failures. This scheme, supplemented by effective
regulation and supervision by the Bank of Ghana, and the
work of the Financial Stability Council, will go a long way to
make our financial system more resilient and supportive of
our efforts to foster inclusive socio-economic growth.
109. The central bank will continue to pursue policies and
strengthen supervision to ensure that the banking sector
remains well-capitalised, solvent, liquid and profitable and
to also ensure that significant gains recorded in the
aftermath of the reforms and recapitalization exercise are
locked-in. Credit risk management practices and loan
recovery efforts will be stepped up to minimize overall risks
in the banking sector.
65
Developments in the Fund Management Industry
110. Mr. Speaker, over the past two years, the management of
the Securities and Exchange Commission has worked on
various reforms and appraised the state of operators in the
industry. In line with the powers vested in the Commission
under Act 929 sections 3 and 122, the Commission revoked
the licenses of 53 fund management companies on Friday,
8th November, 2019. Of these firms, 21 had ceased
operations, with the remaining 32 in various states of
distress and/or regulatory non-compliance before the
revocations.
111. Through this firm and decisive intervention, the
Commission will preserve the investments of over 77,000
retail investors and over 4,700 institutional investors. The
investment portfolios of the affected firms amounted to
GH¢8 billion, of which GH¢2.4 billion (30%) was invested
in treasury bills, banks and listed equities. The actions
affected 249 licensed representatives.
66
112. This exercise seeks to protect investors, restore
transparency and introduce greater accountability while
instilling higher ethical standards through improvement of
the licensing and supervisory framework.
Fiscal Impact of Financial Sector Clean Up
113. Mr. Speaker, the intervention by Government to save
depositors and investors whose funds were locked up with
failed financial institutions has been very costly.
114. In 2017 and 2018, Government spent a total GH¢11.7
billion to safeguard the deposits held by universal banks
that were resolved by Bank of Ghana, and to set up the
Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) Limited. These amounts
were mainly through the issuance of government debt to
both GCB Bank and CBG.
115. This year, Government had to again intervene to provide
relief to depositors when the Bank of Ghana revoked the
licenses of 347 Micro Finance Institutions, 15 Savings &
67
Loans and 8 Finance Houses. The total bailout cost estimate
for this exercise was GH¢2.4 billion.
116. Mr. Speaker, the Securities and Exchange Commission also
revoked the licenses of 53 Asset Management Companies
that were distressed, with an estimated fiscal cost to
protect investors of GH¢1.5 billion.
117. In addition, Government also provided bridge funding of up
to GH¢800 million for Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) to
enable it invest in four (4) indigenous banks that were
struggling to meet the minimum capital requirement
GH¢400 million.
118. Mr. Speaker, these interventions were timely to ensure that
we safeguard the financial system, provided relief to many
families and businesses, as well as to protect jobs and local
interest in the financial system.
119. Mr. Speaker, it is important to state that Government has
not under any circumstances intentionally collapsed any
financial institution. These institutions were insolvent
68
and/or distressed as a result of their own actions, and their
respective regulators stepped in to intervene and to save
over 4m depositors and investors. Our commitment is to
ensure that we provide relief to many of the victims. The
total estimated cost for our fiscal intervention, excluding
interest payments, from 2017 to 2019 is estimated at
GHS16.4 billion, about 5% of GDP.
120. Mr. Speaker, we acknowledge the pain and distress that has
befallen depositors and investors, including pensioners,
market women, churches who placed their confidence in
these financial institutions. The on-going prosecutions will
ensure that all those culpable as well as the negligent
officials of the regulators will face justice as soon as
possible. With this clean-up, the financial sector is now
sanitized and public should have confidence in the sector.
69
Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT)
121. Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) Plc was
set up in December 2018 as an urgent policy response to
help support five (5) indigenous banks, Agricultural
Development Bank (ADB), OmniBSIC, Prudential Bank,
Universal Merchant Bank and National Investment Bank
(NIB) as they were unable to raise equity to meet Bank of
Ghana’s new mandatory minimum capital of GH¢400 million
by 31st December, 2018.
122. All the insolvent banks whose licenses were revoked by
BoG, were indigenous banks which had a contagious effect
on the remaining indigenous banks; making it hard for them
to raise additional capital. To ensure that indigenous
sponsorship in the banking industry is protected, and over
5,400 directs jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs are kept, the
Government set-up GAT and announced a major
intervention to provide a sovereign guarantee of up to
GH¢2 billion to GAT as a backstop to encourage investors
70
to support our local banks. Government successfully got the
approval from Parliament to issue a Sovereign Guarantee
for GAT to enable it issue bonds, and invest equity in the
participating banks.
123. Mr. Speaker, the process was, however, affected by a legal
suit challenging the debt instrument to be issued by GAT
for equity investment in the participating banks. In
response, the legal advisors, Bank of Ghana, Securities and
Exchange Commission, and the NPRA advised the following
to enable a successful capitalization of the banks to meet
the social objectives of the Government.
i. Replacement of the original bond framework for GAT
with a preference share framework for investors;
ii. Initial bridge capitalization of GH¢800 million by
Government to enable GAT invest in the first four
banks (ADB, OmniBSIC, PBL & UMB); and
iii. A subsequent raising of an amount of up to GH¢800
million from investors backed by a Put Call Option
71
Agreement (PCOA) from Government to enable GAT
proceed with the original structure as planned but via
preference shares.
124. Accordingly, Parliament is therefore requested to approve
the GH¢800 million initial capitalization of GAT for its
investment in the 4 participating banks, under the new
structure and the PCOA. The PCOA will replace the
Sovereign Guarantee that was previously approved for the
banks.
National Investment Bank (NIB)
125. Mr. Speaker, Government took a decision to deal with NIB
separately from the other 4 participating banks because of
its unique challenge and the fact that it was 100% owned
by the state. Over the past months, Government has
worked to strengthen the management, ensure regulatory
compliance and beef up the financial reporting framework
72
of the bank to enable it participate more effectively under
the GAT programme.
126. The Bank also took steps to engage new auditors, and
make current their financial statements. Additionally, to
address severe liquidity challenges, Government in October
2019, entered into a swap arrangement with NIB with
respect to its Nestle Shares, giving NIB GH¢500 million of
new liquidity for the Nestle Shares. The final assessment of
the bank, however, showed a much wider capital shortfall
of GHS2.2b as at the end of 2018, which it will need to raise
to enable it meet the new Bank of Ghana minimum capital
requirement.
127. NIB, under the GAT initiative, has also developed a new
strategy that will transform it into a specialised bank. Going
forward, NIB shall focus on promoting industrialization by
deploying the right products and services to finance
industry across the country and in line with national
development priorities.
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128. In this regard, Parliament is requested to approve a GHS2.2
billion Put Call Option Agreement (PCOA) from Government
to GAT to enable it raise the required funding for NIB via
preference shares. This will replace the Government
Guarantee to GAT that was previously approved.
Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG)
129. Mr. Speaker, Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) which was
formed as a bridge bank to assumed the good assets of the
7 defunct local banks in August 2018 has made
considerable process in term of paying depositors whose
monies were locked up with these institutions and still
maintaining most of them as clients.
130. The progress made by CBG, the jobs retained as well as the
re-hiring of some of the staff of the now defunct banks that
were out of the jobs, attest to the hard work the BOG, the
Receivers and all stakeholders in the banking sector clean-
74
up process to ensure that the resolution of the crisis was as
smooth as possible. We are confident that over the next
months, the financial sector which is now on a sounder
footing will expand considerably and new jobs will be
created.
131. With the progress made by CBG, the bank has requested
that Government consider and approve for its articles of
incorporation to be amended to convert it into a normal
universal bank and not a bridge bank. Government has
recognised the need to strengthen CBG and protect the jobs
at this bank and has therefore given the go ahead for CBG
to undertake the needed regulatory process with the Bank
of Ghana for it to be regularised.
Changing the Environment for Private Sector Credit
Delivery
132. Mr. Speaker, Government has worked very hard to reverse
the deteriorating macroeconomic environment it inherited,
reduced inflation and interest rates, stabilised the exchange
75
rate, restored sanity in the financial sector, and undertook
large scale social intervention programs in education,
smallholder agricultural initiatives such as planting and
rearing for food and jobs, among others which are
prerequisites for private sector led growth and job creation.
133. Mr. Speaker, from 2020 Government will begin major
interventions to boost private sector credit to support all
segments of the business community. In 2019, Government
engaged many stakeholders with respect to access to credit
for the private sector. Experts went across the length and
breadth of the country to meet with SMEs and artisans,
proprietors and associations to get a better understanding
of the challenges they face in accessing credit, while the
Ministry also engaged the AGI, Banker’s Association, among
others prior to this year’s budget. Through evidence-based
research and field engagements with over forty (40)
business associations, credit needs of micro, small and
medium enterprises in the country, Government is ready to
76
take advantage of the macro gains, and enhanced social
cohesion through our social intervention initiatives to focus
on private sector growth, home ownership and
infrastructure development, including toll roads. The key
institutions to anchor this shift will be the National
Development Bank (NDB) and the Ghana Infrastructure
Investment Fund (GIIF).
134. In this regard, the following initiatives will be undertaken in
2020:
i. Establishment of Enterprise Credit Scheme
(ECS) Mr. Speaker, we will like to emphasize that the
ultimate solution to the job creation lies with the
private sector. The Private sector in Ghana continues
to borrow at over 25%, while their competitors
elsewhere are borrowing at least that 5%. One way to
support them is to ensure a reasonable level of lending
rates.
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ii. Mr. Speaker, Government is therefore working
together with the Banking Community to launch a
GHS2 billion credit and guarantee scheme in 2020.
This initiative will be structured to incentivise banks to
lend to private sector at discounted lending rates. The
scheme which will start in the first quarter of 2020 will
be targeted at specific industries such as agribusiness, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism and
the tech-sector amongst others.
iii. Promotion of micro businesses and household
lending. Government will partner with Fintech
companies, local Banks and mobile money operators
to deliver micro credit to Ghanaian businesses and
individuals. This intervention is expected to deliver
quick loans on favourable terms using technology
driven platforms to do the credit assessment. This
initiative is in line with Government’s digitization
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agenda and offers an opportunity for MSMEs to apply
for loans on their mobile phones with minimal human
intervention. The initiative will go live by Q1 2020. The
benefits of this intervention includes the provision of
needed micro capital for business expansion and
capital expenditures. It will also support the working
capital needs of small Ghanaian businesses. Our
market women will be able to access credit using their
mobile money wallets to stock up goods in order to
sell more. The initiative is expected to increase
productivity and profitability as well as contribute to
job creation. This is in direct response to our findings
from the nationwide survey.
iv. Support for Long Term Institutional Investors.
To encourage the establishment of Private Equity,
Venture Capital and Mutual Funds, which will improve
the ecosystem for start-ups, the current application of
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VAT on management fees for these funds will be
abolished; as this discourages institutional and angel
investors, both local and foreign, from investing in
such critical funds for private sector growth. This will
improve the accumulation of long term funds in the
economy to support growth and jobs.
National Development Bank
135. Mr. Speaker feasibility study for the establishment of the
National Development Bank specifying the rationale,
mandate, business model, legal and regulatory framework,
ownership, governance and sustainability of the Bank has
been completed.
136. Government is working with the World Bank and other
development partners to capitalize the bank in 2020 for it
to commerce operations. The National Development Bank
as envisioned will refinance credit to industry and
agriculture as a wholesale bank; and also provide
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guarantee instruments to encourage universal banks to
lend to these specific sectors of the economy.
137. The National Development Bank (NDB) will be an
independent institution with strong corporate governance
framework; and would be globally rated to enable it
leverage foreign private capital for industrial and agriculture
development in the country. The Government will also
provide periodic dedicated funds for intervention in key
areas of the economy such as large scale agro processing,
housing, through various schemes and funds as needed for
economic and social development and jobs.
138. It is expected that the National Development Bank will
provide cheaper and long term funding for the growth and
expansion of key companies operating in the agriculture
and industry sectors. The development bank will also lend
through specialized banks to key anchor industries at the
Metropolitan, Metropolis and District Assemblies level to
support the Governments IDIF initiative
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139. Mr. Speaker, the implementation of the Free Senior High
School (SHS) policy, which provides opportunities for
Ghanaian youth to gain access to secondary education has
recorded significant enrolment numbers since its inception.
The total number of beneficiaries for the two cohorts has
almost doubled from about 400,000 students in 2017 to
794,899 students at the end of the 2018/19 academic year,
and it is projected to increase to 1,264,071 in 2020.
140. Mr. Speaker, Government will continue to invest in the
education sector by providing adequate infrastructure,
improving appropriate regulatory systems and incessantly
building the capacity of teachers across the country to
enhance quality human capacity development. We will fast
track the construction of about 962 structures, including
classroom blocks, dormitories and auxiliary facilities in
Secondary Schools across the country to ease congestion
in our schools.
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i. Our other focus, is on the expansion and upgrading of
public tertiary institutions to absorb the high growth in
student numbers. True to our commitment to prioritising
technical education, this week work has begun on the
most comprehensive expansion and retooling exercise
ever undertaken in this country’s history involving
technical institutions. The previous government had
negotiated a contract with AVIC International Holdings,
which we took over and completely renegotiated to gain
greater value for money, getting more for even less
money. The contract is to build state-of-the-art training
workshops for 15 institutions and a technical
examination unit, equipped with sets of laboratory
equipment for Electrical and Electronic laboratory,
Mechanical engineering laboratory, Civil engineering
laboratory; Automotive repair engineering laboratory
and Welding equipment laboratory.
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ii. Mr Speaker, in line with our commitment to giving value
for money, I am happy to announce that the contract
sum has dropped from $119,101,946.00 to $105 million,
representing a savings of $14 million. Furthermore, our
renegotiations have led to the number of polytechnics to
benefit increasing from five (5) to ten (10) Technical
Universities/Polytechnics. Again, the number of
Technical Institutes to benefit has gone up from ten (10)
to thirteen (13). The completion time has also been
shortend from 36 months to 30 months and we have
added 3 years extra to the 2 years after sale service
support and warranty originally negotiated by the NDC.
141. Mr. Speaker, when the NPP Government assumed the
administration of our beloved country, one of the biggest
surprises we faced as government was the dire status of
the financial sector. The banking sector was in total disarray
while the specialised deposit taking institutions and asset
companies were virtually grinding to a halt. Consequently,
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the government had to employ great tact to carefully model
a new path for the sector, starting with the banking sector.
Today, I am proud to announce to this august House that,
we have made significant strides with the banking clean-up
process that we started in 2017.
142. We have so far spent close to GHȼ13 billion to provide
various bailouts to the financial sector. In addition,
government has successfully restructured the fundraising
model for the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) initiative
set up to support solvent and well-run indigenous banks to
meet BOG’s minimum capital requirement of GHȼ400
million. GAT has already committed funds from pension
funds and other investors, through a bond programme,
with proceeds of up to GH¢2.0 billion, which was used for
equity investment in eligible indigenous banks, as
determined by the investors. To date four banks have
received support from GAT.
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143. Mr. Speaker, we have also made significant progress with
the establishment and operationalisation of the National
Development Bank (NDB). We have secured US$250.0
million from the World Bank as initial capitalization to kickstart the operations of the NDB and an interim board was
set-up. In view of the high level of interest generated, other
Donors such as DFID, KFW, AfDB are expected to provide
additional capitalization for the Bank once it becomes
operational in 2020.
144. Mr. Speaker, the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO) and the
Planting for Food and Jobs programmes have both been
very successful in generating employment and contributing
to improved livelihoods for many Ghanaians. Government
employed and placed about 97,373 graduates under the
Seven Modules of NABCO, across the country. The PFJ
programme has also contributed significantly to the 2019-
year crop yield, with maize yield increasing by 29.2 percent
(2,306,380mt), rice by 53.8 percent (769,400mt), sorghum
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by 13.3 percent (316,240mt) and soya beans by 67.6
percent (176,670mt).
145. Mr. Speaker, given the significant contributions of the
various government flagship programmes to job creation
and livelihood improvement, Government will continue to
invest in sectors that seek to provide support for the poor
and the vulnerable in order to improve the lives of our
people. As such, the delivery of priority infrastructure
projects under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication
Programme (IPEP) will be fast tracked in 2020. We will
continue to deliver projects such as rural markets,
community clinics, toilet facilities, community potable water
systems and classroom blocks, to improve the living
standards of our people.
146. Mr. Speaker, I will now present this august House with
Government’s detailed programmes and projects under the
2020 budget. These are designed to consolidate the gains
we have made over the last three years.
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BEYOND MACROECONOMIC STABILITY: INCLUSIVE
TRANSFORMATION
147. Mr Speaker, clearly we have achieved a lot in the last 3
years. In 2020, we will continue with the implementation of
all our 16 flagship programmes in order to transform the
lives of Ghanaians. These are a few highlights of our
programme for 2020.
148. Mr Speaker the first batch of the free SHS students will be
graduating in 2020. Government has released funds to pay
for the WASSCE examination fees. We are confident that as
a result of the academic intervention programmes we have
rolled up, the success rate will be high to prove the sceptics
wrong. The graduates will be ready to enter our tertiary
institutions as well as join other internships programmes on
our Business Development programmes to enable them
start their own businesses.
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149. In 2020, government will continue with the payment of
allowances to a projected number of 54,108 teacher
trainees in all public colleges of education and 49,000
nursing trainees in public health training institutions.
150. Mr. Speaker, under the Agric modernization programme
government will continue to supply organic and inorganic
fertilizers and improved seeds to about 1.2 million farmers.
The seeds and fertilizer interventions are expected to
significantly increase the production of maize, rice, soya,
sorghum, cowpea, groundnut, cassava, sweet potato and
assorted vegetables. In addition, government will continue
to maintain surveillance to keep pest under control to
ensure food security and provide enhanced extension
services to farmers to further improve adoption of new
technologies and increase on-farm productivity
151. In 2020, government will continue to provide agricultural
machinery and equipment including simple hand-held farm
equipment to improve small scale farmers’ access to
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agricultural mechanization services. Government will also
complete the importation of assorted agricultural machinery
for the establishment of Agriculture Mechanization Service
Centres (AMSECs).
152. Mr. Speaker in 2020, government will focus on identifying
and supporting private sector business operators in the
remaining 150 districts to expand the IDIF programme to
districts where no promoter has shown interest as of now.
Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme
(IPEP)
153. Mr. Speaker, to accelerate the delivery of basic
infrastructure needs of each constituency, a number of
varying infrastructure projects such as culverts, small
bridges, community centres, police posts, classroom blocks,
markets, among others will commence in 2020. These
basic infrastructural facilities will help to improve the lives
of the rural and peri-urban population.
154. The government has made adequate allocation to begin
construction of a dam to hold spillage from the Bagre Dam.
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This project when completed will permanently end the
annual flooding in the northern part of Ghana as a result of
spillage of Bagre dam in Burkina Faso.
155. The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme,
under the Green Business Initiative which is being
implemented by the National Entrepreneurship and
Innovation Programme (NEIP), will train 15,000
entrepreneurs out of which 4,000 will be financially
supported under the Presidential Business Support
Programme.
156. 46 additional greenhouse domes will be built and 2,000
young graduates will be trained in green house technology.
In addition, the Youth in Industry Initiative will also be
rolled out to benefit over 40,000 interns.
Security
157. Mr Speaker, in order to ensure the country enjoys peace
especially before and after the 2020 elections the Ghana
Police Service will commence the construction of 70
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prefabricated operational centres to improve community
policing and provide additional accommodation, operational
vehicles, equipment and other logistics/facilities, to ensure
efficient service delivery
158. The police service will intensify activities to minimize the
incidence of crime particularly, violent crimes, through
increase in frontline Police and intelligence gathering,
increase day and night patrols on major highways,
commercial and residential suburbs of cities across the
country and will intensify public awareness and education
on crime prevention.
Government-FBO Collaboration
159. Mr. Speaker, Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) are key
partners of government in national development. They
significantly influence areas including education, health,
social justice and the preservation of morality and ethics.
With access to nationwide networks and a proven track
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record, FBOs are well positioned to inform policy
development and expedite the delivery of social
infrastructure and services. Successful discussions were
held with the community of faith towards a comprehensive
social partnership framework to realise holistic governance
and carve out a values-based national identity.
160. The collaboration will uphold foundational laws and address
mutual concerns – including attitudinal change; tackling
corruption; social protection for the vulnerable; civic
education; tax sensitisation; resource management and
skills development; entrepreneurship and creativity; and a
national dialogue on values and ethics.
161. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been
prepared to this effect with inputs from FBOs, and the
Collaboration is set to be launched before the end of the
year.
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National Cathedral of Ghana
162. Mr. Speaker, the interdenominational National Cathedral
that will be located in the heart of the capital, stands to
help unify the Christian community as a place of worship
and promote the national conversation on the role of faith
in building Ghana. With the participation of various
churches in the administration of the Cathedral, collective
ownership of the project by the churches is envisioned.
163. The Board of Trustees and the Secretariat have been
established, and preparatory works for the construction of
the Cathedral have begun. Procurement processes to select
a contractor are expected to conclude by the end of the
year and construction is expected to begin in March, 2020.
164. As part of government quest to reduce regional disparities
and bring service closer to the people government will
complete the following projects in 2020:
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i. Regional Hospital in Kumasi and 4 No. District Hospitals
with Staff Housing at Twifo-Praso, Konongo-Odumasi,
Tepa and Nsawkaw;
ii. Bekwai District Hospital;
iii. Upper East (Bolgatanga) Regional Hospital; and
iv. Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge (Phase II).
165. Mr. Speaker, the construction of the following facilities
will continue:
i. 80 percent completion on the Construction of 5 District
Hospitals in Sawla,Tolon, Somanya, Buipe and Wheta
and a Polyclinic In Bamboi;
ii. 40 percent Completion of Maternity and Children’s Block
at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in the Ashanti
Region;
iii. 35 percent completion on the Construction of One
District Hospital and Five Polyclinics in Western Region
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at Akontombra, Bogoso, Wassa Dunkwa, Mpoho, Elubo
and Nsuaem;
iv. 60 percent completion of the expansion and equipping
of four selected facilities at Aburi, Kibi, Atibie and
Mampong.
166. Work will also commence the following projects in 2020:
i. Construction of Koforidua Regional Hospital and
achieve 30 percent completion;
ii. Construction of University of Ghana Teaching
Hospital (Phase II);
iii. Construction of Maternity Block at Korle-Bu Teaching
Hospital;
iv. Reconstruction of Tema Regional Hospital;
v. Reconstruction of the Central Medical Store;
vi. Rehabilitation and expansion of Shama and La
General Polyclinics and achieve 30 percent
completion;
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vii. Refurbishment of Surgical Block at Korle-Bu Teaching
Hospital;
viii. Construction of Urology and Nephrology Centre at
Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital;
ix. Construction of Western Regional Hospital at
Sekondi-Takoradi;
x. Construction of 4 No. 60 bed District Hospital at
Atebubu, Sampa and Sandema;
xi. Construction of 10 No. 40-Bed Hospitals in Ashanti
and Eastern Regions; and
xii. Construction of New District Hospitals at Obuasi and
Trauma Hospital at Anyinam.
167. In 2020, the Drone project will be rolled out nationwide to
ensure that essential service such as blood and medical
products delivery are extended to deprived areas of the
country
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Transforming Ghana Beyond Aid
168. Mr. Speaker, building on the progress we have made so
far, including on the flagship programmes, government will
continue to take deliberate and strategic steps to accelerate
Ghana’s economic transformation. Our goal, consistent with
the medium-term aspirations of the Coordinated
Programme, is to use our resources creatively and
efficiently to build “… a prosperous and self-confident
Ghana that is in charge of her economic destiny; a
transformed Ghana that is prosperous enough to be beyond
needing aid, and that engages competitively with the rest
of the world through trade and investment.”
169. Mr. Speaker, under the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, we aim
for an accelerated economic transformation based on rapid
and inclusive growth that will double our per capita income
over a ten-year period.
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170. Mr. Speaker, the accelerated transformation we seek
cannot be realised if we do business as usual. We must
increase government capacity to finance and manage the
ambitious agenda that we have set for ourselves and also
radically improve the environment for the private sector,
both domestic and foreign, to invest and do business in our
country.
171. Mr. Speaker we need to significantly increase domestic
revenues in order to raise our own contribution to financing
our ambitious development agenda under Ghana Beyond
Aid without over-burdening our citizens with additional
taxes. Currently, Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio of 12.9 percent
(in 2018) is below that average of our middle-income
country peers of 18 to 20 percent. Government has
developed a strategy to begin to address this situation,
including:
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i. expanding the tax net through digitisation to improve
identification of tax payers and efficient collection of
both tax and non-tax sources of revenue;
ii. transforming and strengthening the capacity of Ghana
Revenue Authority (GRA) to an organization that
combines efficient revenue collection with excellent
customer orientation to efficiently collect and report
non-tax revenues.
172. Mr. Speaker, the higher public investments in human capital
and infrastructure that increased domestic revenue will help
us finance are just the building blocks. The actual building
of a transformed economy will have to be constructed by
the private sector, because my Government believes in the
primacy of the private sector. But we are the first to
recognize that for the private sector, both domestic and
foreign, to invest and sustain their investments in the
Ghanaian economy, there is the need to improve the
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business environment, and we will continue to work on this
and offer the critical support needed for the private sector
to survive and thrive.
173. Mr. Speaker, to this end, Government has introduced a
Business Regulatory Reform Programme, which is a 3-year
initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry,
and implemented in partnership with other stakeholders,
aimed at improving the business atmosphere in the
country. The Programme will help Ghana to have one of the
most transparently and efficiently regulated business
environments in Africa.
174. Mr. Speaker, to complement all the efforts we are
undertaking to make Ghana a much friendlier place for our
business men and women, we also plan on an aggressive
agenda to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), We
need significant FDI to supplement the resources from
Government and our on domestic investors.
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175. Mr. Speaker, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has become
an important component of economic growth globally.
Accordingly, almost all nations compete to attract and
retain FDI because of their potential to add value to the
local economy.
176. Mr. Speaker, according to the BoG and BoP records, FDI
flows into Ghana from 2016 – 2018 averaged $2.9 billion a
year. As a percentage of GDP this equates to around 5.%.
I have no doubt that Ghana is well positioned to become
the number one destination for FDI flows in the medium to
long term for a host of reasons including its location,
literacy rate, English language, rule of law, strong macroeconomic fundamentals, stable and peaceful democracy,
warm climate and warm hospitality. Added to this is the
choice of Ghana to host the Secretariat of the AfCFTA.
177. Mr. Speaker, as such, we are putting together a
comprehensive strategy to harness and attract FDI to help
accelerate growth. We believe that if we can double FDI
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every year for the next ten years, it shall translate into
increase in GDP growth of over our current GDP projections
of approximately 6% annually over the medium term.
178. Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that Cabinet has
approved the formation of an inter-ministerial committee to
provide policy guidance for the FDI agenda. The mandate
of this committee shall be to put in place a comprehensive
strategy and plan of execution on attracting FDI flows going
forward as well as identify and package all the various
initiatives and policies that are already in place that help
make Ghana an attractive place to do business and hence
to attract FDI flows.
179. Mr Speaker, in addition, Ghana Investment Promotion
Centre (GIPC) Bill will be amended to align it with
international best practice, and GIPC wil be restructured
and better resourced with human and financial capital.
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180. Mr. Speaker, infact we are already beginning to leverage
our advantages to generate a lot of interest in Ghana from
global multinational companies. We have so far attracted
investments and commercial interests from global
automotive companies, including Toyota, Volkswagen,
Nissan, Renault, Hyundai, Sinotruck, and Suzuki.
181. Mr. Speaker, we have also built strategic partnerships that
we can leverage to attract FDI. These include: Africa
Investment Forum (AIF), Compact with Africa, the US
“Prosper Africa”, UK-Ghana Business Council, EU-Africa
Business, China’s FOCAC, Japan’s TICAD, Korea’s KOAFEC,
the Asian Infrastructue Investment Bank (AIIB), and
Singapore, among others.
182. Mr. Speaker, all these measures on the business regulatory
environment and the FDI agenda are part of a broader and
ambitious strategy to make Ghana a gateway to business
in West Africa and Africa in general; a business, financial,
and logistics hub in the region.
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Digitization Innovations and Policy Priorities
183. Mr. Speaker, for Government, one of the cardinal principles
in our economic transformation is to leverage technology
wherever possible to innovate. There is no doubt that
Government, in partnership with the private sector, is on
the right path towards digitizing government services to
expedite delivery of services, improve the lives of citizens,
and promote a supportive business environment.
184. We have therefore since 2017 sought to formalize the
Ghanaian society by leveraging technology and digitization
to improve administrative systems and increase
transparency. Leveraging technology improves efficiency,
limits human interactions, and improves traceability of
transactions. Government has successfully implemented a
number of transformational initiatives at the heart of which
is the National Identification system. Mr. Speaker, please
permit me to list some of the transformational digital
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initiatives that we have been pursuing in the digitalization
space:
i. The introduction of National ID Cards is a game
changer. When completed, it will form the basis of an
integrated database with Passports, Tax Identification
Numbers, Drivers’ Licenses and Pensions data.
ii. On Digital Property Addressing, the process of tagging
all 4 million houses with digital addresses is on-going.
A biometric national identity and a digital address
uniquely establish personal and immovable property
identity;
iii. Introduction of a paperless port system has eliminated
the multiple layers of clearing agents, reduced the
time to clear goods at the ports, and increased
revenue mobilization;
iv. Drivers licenses and vehicle registration have been
digitized.
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v. Mobile money payments interoperability has been
implemented. We now have what we call Triangular
Financial Inclusion anchored on three main payment
platforms – bank accounts, mobile wallets, and ezwich cards. This is a major step to financial inclusion
and movement towards cashless payments for
government services. With this payments architecture
in place, we are moving next to make all payments for
government services and government transfers to
persons and businesses to go cashless by June 2020.
vi. Registrar General’s Department has been digitized.
The automation of the application for Business
Operating Permits has removed the complexities of
the process;
vii. Passport applications are online and together with the
National ID cards, are eliminating the falsification of
records and multiple identities.
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viii. Renewal of NHIS registration via mobile phone has
been a phenomenal innovation, eliminating the need
for queues, delays and bribery, and also increasing
access to health care by those who need the services
most.
ix. Drones and Decentralized Delivery of Health Services:
Ghana has joined Rwanda in using drones to deliver
critical medical products, blood products, medical
cargo, emergency vaccines, lifesaving and essential
medicines on demand to every part of the country,
regardless of road infrastructure. No hospital or clinic
is too remote in the delivery of health services.
x. Land Digitization with block-chain technology:
Disputes on land ownership are prevalent and
discourage investments due to multiple sales, poor
record-keeping and missing records despite all the
efforts (time and money) at land reforms. The
digitization of land registry with the use of block-chain
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technology is intended to deal comprehensively with
the problem.
185. These innovations are intended to improve the overall
platform and the ways and means by which citizens,
businesses and the public sector conduct their activities –
Citizen to Citizen (C2C), Business to Citizen (B2C),
Government to Citizen (G2C), and vice versa.
186. Mr. Speaker, there are substantial benefits in all these
measures for good governance and for sound management
of the economy, in all aspects of decision-making and
planning. These innovations help in better targeting the
delivery of public services whether it is in education, health
and other social services in line with the three fundamental
SDGs (#1 to reduce poverty, #2 to eliminate hunger, and
#3 to ensure the good health and well-being of citizens).
187. Building these types of information infrastructure will also
help expand the tax base of the economy to improve
domestic resource mobilization (DRM), a key pillar in the
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Ghana Beyond Aid agenda. Individual income earners,
property owners, and businesses must pay their fair share
of taxes.
188. For businesses, these digitization innovations are mitigating
all kinds of risk of doing business, including, the risk of
lending, and reducing transactions costs in so many areas
of commerce. It is easier now to develop a credit reference
bureau and a mortgage market.
189. Mr. Speaker, soon, our national life will be infused with
current technology spanning National Identification
System, Digital Postal Address System, Paperless Port
Systems, E-banking Systems, linked Passport and Driving
License Systems, pensions and insurance data, digitized
land registry and Mobile Money Interoperability System,
among others.
190. We have set a digitization agenda to improve the efficiency
of many government agencies – how to access public
services, how to deliver them, how to pay for them where
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there is a charge – and ultimately help eliminate the
temptation to corrupt simple processes and procedures in
the delivery of public services that are meant to improve
the quality of life of the citizens.
191. These are initiatives with potential big long-term gains. By
leveraging technology to improve transparency and
accountability in administrative systems, we are completing
in short order what many years of administrative reforms
had not been able to accomplish in the fight against day to
day incidence of corruption and the bottlenecks in public
administration that citizens, businesses face in their
everyday activities.
192. Mr. Speaker, this is the way to go for Ghana if we are to
catch up with the rest of the developed world in the 4th
Industrial Revolution. Ghana is ready and pushing hard on
this path. Ultimately, our goal is to become a leading hub
for ICT innovation in Africa.
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193. Mr. Speaker, in pursuant of this, Government will set up a
National Digital Strategy Team under the overall oversight
of the Presidency who will bring together local technology
firms and experts, and with professional and financial
support from the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of
Finance and the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, to
elevate the profile and reach of our digitisation strategy
across the region to unlock the unexplored economic value
of the sector.
Entrepreneurship
194. Mr. Speaker, government will accelerate entrepreneurship
and MSME growth to support economic dynamism and job
creation. In addition to the business regulatory streamlining
and the financial sector innovations that will help SMEs,
enhanced support to SMEs and MSMEs will be achieved
through strengthening and rationalizing government’s main
entrepreneurship and enterprise support programmes such
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NBSSI and NEIP. In addition, government will facilitate
linkages between domestic entrepreneurs and FDI firms to
join global value chains.
195. Skills Development Recent studies conducted by the World
Bank Group (WBG) indicates that 200 million people
worldwide, disproportionately youth, are unemployed and
looking for jobs, 600 million new jobs are needed globally
over the next 15 years to keep employment rates stable,
and 1 billion young people will enter the labor market
between 2015 and 2030. The creation of jobs and
connecting to markets, as well as building capabilities and
connecting workers to jobs are the policy drivers for our
TVET strategy.
196. Mr. Speaker, our industrialization drive through the ten (10)
point Agenda for Industrial transformation for rapid growth,
cannot be supported due to inadequate skills locally. Hence,
our focus and emphasis on TVET and skills development
through our free SHS and TVET flagship programmes. We
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are supporting skills development (TVET) to ensure
employability to help drive the economic transformation
agenda.
197. Mr. Speaker, Government will, over the medium term,
establish 32 new state-of-the-art TVET institutions across
the country to address the infrastructure deficit to expand
access and increase enrolment, as well as improve on
capacity to run programmes that will culminate in equipping
learners with skills that meets the needs of industry.
Accelerated Infrastructure Development
198. Mr. Speaker, infrastructure development is a long-term
commitment which requires long-term financing.
199. We will aggressively pursue blended financing
arrangements, leveraging funds from various sources
including our development partners, philanthropists and
private sector actors to finance mega infrastructure projects
such as:
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i. Seaport and Airport to position Ghana as a
regional logistics hub;
ii. Road network in the country
iii. Metro and light rail transit systems in Accra and
Kumasi.
200. Over the last 30 years, the world has witnessed the breathtaking rise of sovereign wealth funds in Asia and MiddleEast and their contributions to national development.
Ghana has a unique opportunity, with the expected
increase in oil production to reap rewards from its
endowment of natural resources. A well- capitalised,
actively managed savings funds, like Ghana Petroleum
Funds (GPFs) and Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund
(GIIF) are instruments to support.
Science and Technology Development
201. Mr. Speaker, the foundation for industrialization is science
and technology. Technological capability is the
differentiator between developed and undeveloped
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countries. Government has therefore resolved that we must
complement our advances in human capital in the
education sector with a focused push to develop our
national technological capability.
202. Mr. Speaker, towards this objective, Government, through
the Ministry of Science, Environment, Technology and
Innovation (MESTI) will establish the Ghana Design and
Manufacturing Centre (GDMC). A center of excellence in
design, manufacturing and technology commercialization,
GDMC will be a place for Design-for-Manufacturing and
Assembly, and for manufacturing skills. The Centre will also
facilitate the incubation of new technological industries and
serve as a resource for national research institutions and
private industry.
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Public Service Delivery
203. To achieve the delivery of these reforms and initiatives,
government will also improve the efficiency of the public
service delivery by strengthening the automation of
administrative services, enhance capacity for service
delivery and support for digitization of Government’s
operations including digital record-keeping and archiving.
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BEYOND MACROECONOMIC STABILITY – INCLUSIVE
TRANSFORMATION
204. Mr. Speaker, while macroeconomic stability is important,
we are cognisant that it must ultimately translate into the
well-being of Ghanaians in their everyday living: safe
drinking water, good roads, jobs, access to good
healthcare, stable and affordable electricity, and good
education among others.
205. Mr. Speaker, H.E. President Akufo-Addo promised to
provide relief to Ghanaians from the suffering that engulfed
the country under the last NDC government. Indeed, the
many social interventions that have been implemented over
the last three years along with jobs created have brought
relief to many Ghanaians. Mr. Speaker:
i. many parents were suffering because they could not
afford to pay school fees for their children to attend
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senior high school.– thankfully Free SHS is here and
has provided relief to them;
ii. Also, thousands of BECE candidates could not register
because of high registration fees – thankfully we paid
the registration fees for them and provided them
relief;
iii. We have also abolished fees for post graduate medical
training in Ghana;
iv. hundreds of young people could not live up to their
dreams of becoming a trained teacher or nurse –
thankfully we have restored teacher and nursing
trainee allowances;
v. thousands of young children could either drop out of
school as a result of hunger or go to school
malnourished – thankfully we doubled the capitation
grant;
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vi. tens of thousands of our young graduates from the
technical universities and universities could not realize
their life dreams as employed graduates – thankfully
we have NABCO which has employed 100,000
graduates across every constituency in Ghana;
vii. To reduce the suffering of the unemployed generally,
we have recruited over 350,000 people in the public
sector in the last three years including teachers,
security services, nurses, NABCO, Forestry, etc.;
viii. thousands of farmers could not access fertilizers and
seeds to improve their farming – thankfully we have
Planting for Foods and Jobs which has provided a 50%
subsidy on the price of fertilizer, which Mr. Speaker, is
accessible;
ix. thousands of aged and vulnerable adults with no work
and no income – thankfully we have expanded the
Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP)
programme by 150,000 people;
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x. Many children went hungry at school and thankfully
we have expanded the school feeding programme by
500,000 children.
xi. thousands of our soldiers deployed for peace keeping
were not going to have the kind of motivation they
need to execute their job – and thankfully we have
increased the peace keeping allowance from $31 to
$35 per day;
xii. tens and thousands of businesses and individuals were
going to be taxed out of business with nuisance taxes
– thankfully we abolished and reduced as many as 15
such taxes;
xiii. While the average annual increase in electricity tariffs
between 2010 and 2015 was 45%, there has been a
net reduction of electricity tariffs by at least between
5-10% for households and businesses since 2016.
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xiv. thousands of Persons With Disability (PWD) have had
their allocation from the District Assemblies Common
Fund (DACF) increased by 50%;
xv. We have also ensured the implementation of our
pledge of employing 50% of the persons who manage
the country’s toll booths from amongst Persons with
Disabilities;
xvi. To address the problem of a lack of ambulances in
many parts of the country we have procured 307 wellequipped ambulances for the National ambulance
service under the one constituency one ambulance
initiative. By next month, all 275 constituencies will
each have a functioning ambulance. This will increase
the ambulances from 54 to 361, over 500% increase.
206. Mr. Speaker, most of these initiatives and social
interventions have put monies either directly or indirectly
into the pockets of many Ghanaians.
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207. Mr. Speaker, from 2017 to date, these interventions by
Government have put at least GH¢ 12.2 billion in the
pockets of Ghanaians.
Specifically,
i. Free SHS has saved parents a total of GH¢1.8 billion
with the last three years and that is money in their
pockets;
ii. Planting for Food and Jobs has saved farmers a total
of GHc844 million over the last three years for
subsidized fertilizer and this is money in their pockets;
iii. a total of GH¢ 357 million have been put into the
pockets of Teacher trainees within the last three years
in the form of allowances;
iv. a total of GH¢ 336 million have been put into the
pockets of Nursing trainee within the last three years
in the form of allowance;
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v. Subsidy for the BECE registration fee has saved
parents a total of GHc65 million over the last two years
and that is money in their pockets;
vi. The electricity tariff reductions effected by the PURC
effective March 15, 2018 resulted in savings of GH¢
1.8 billion for a year for residential and non-residential
customers and this is money in their pockets;
vii. The reduction and abolition of taxes (including the
50% reduction in import duty) has saved taxpayers a
total of GHC4.1 billion over the last three years and
that is money in their pockets;
viii. The over 350,000 jobs that have been created in the
public sector (including the 100,000 NABCO
graduates) has provided total earnings to them of GH¢
2.9 billion and that is money in their pockets.
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208. Mr. Speaker the question that should be asked is: what
social interventions did the NDC implement in their 8 years
in office to reduce the suffering of Ghanaians?
209. Mr. Speaker, we should also not forget that government
has through the financial sector clean-up, saved the
deposits of 4.6 million depositors who would otherwise
have lost their deposits;
210. Mr. Speaker, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire (who together
produce 67% of the world’s cocoa) have agreed on a
framework for setting floor prices for cocoa. This is a game
changer in the cocoa industry and will result in a major
transformation in the fortunes of the cocoa farmer from
October 2020 as they will receive higher prices for their
cocoa through the Living Income Differential;
211. Mr. Speaker, furthermore, the Government of Nana AkufoAddo campaigned on building a more inclusive society
where every community has equal opportunity in getting
access to basic infrastructure and services like water,
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toilets, markets, education and health. This is the rationale
behind the launching of the Infrastructure for Poverty
Eradication Programme (IPEP) initiative.
212. Mr. Speaker, the results of the last three years are
impressive, with thousands of projects (some completed
and some ongoing) across the 275 constituencies. These
projects are in areas such as water systems and boreholes,
toilets, markets, schools, health facilities, markets, etc.
213. Construction of 80 thousand-metric ton warehouses in
collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. These
warehouses are equipped with dryers, laboratories and
solar powered under the “One-District-One-Warehouse
Initiative.”
214. Mr. Speaker, so far, we have constructed 200 out of 560
small earth dams in the five northern regions, in fulfilment
of the “One Village One Dam promise.
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215. Mr. Speaker I am happy to announce that preparations are
now complete and the construction of the first 600-bed
kayayei hostel will commence in Agbogbloshie next month
to provide accommodation and skills training to these
vulnerable young women.
216. Mr. Speaker, to address the exclusion of inner city and
Zongo communities, President Nana Akufo-Addo
established a Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development
as well as the Zongo Development Fund. Many projects
and interventions have been made in over the last two
years (some completed and others ongoing). The projects
cover provision of toilets, drains, Astro turfs and green
parks, street lighting, Implementation of Zongo Coders
project (software training), etc.
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Agriculture Modernisation
217. Mr. Speaker in 2017 when the NPP government assumed
office, growth in the agriculture sector had declined
dramatically. The government’s agriculture modernisation
programme was therefore aimed at improving production
efficiency, achieving food security, and profitability for our
farmers, and significantly increasing agricultural
productivity as the basis for industrialization, job creation
and export.
218. We promised to increase subsidies on retail prices of seeds,
fertilizers and other agrochemicals, focus on developing
irrigation schemes, facilitate the provision of community
owned and managed small-scale irrigation facilities across
the country, especially in northern Ghana, through the
policy of “One Village, One Dam”, and improve the ratio of
extension officer to farmers.
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219. Over the last three years, significant progress has been
made in the agricultural modernization programme. We
have delivered this agenda through our key flagship
initiative, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) under the
following modules; Food Crop Production; Planting for
Export and Rural Development (PERD); Rearing for Food
and Jobs (RFJ); Greenhouse Technology Development as
well as Mechanization for Food and Jobs.
220. Mr. Speaker, under the Food Crop Production module
sixteen selected commodities are being promoted. They
include maize, rice, sorghum, soybean, plantain, vegetables
and Orange Flesh Sweet Potato. Between 2017 and 2018,
a total subsidy in the form of 12,000MT of organic and
821,778MT of blended inorganic fertilizers as well as 24,000
MT of improved seeds valued at GHS0.6 billion was
provided to about 1.9 million farmers.
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INDUSTRIALIZATION
221. Mr. Speaker, Government’s industrial development agenda
is anchored on the One District One Factory (1D1F)
initiative, a programme designed to support the private
sector to establish at least one (1) industrial enterprise in
each of the 260 Districts of the country to add value to their
natural resource endowments. Much has been achieved
since the inception of the programme in 2017.
222. Mr. Speaker, significant progress has been made towards
the achievement of the set target. To date 181 projects are
at various levels of implementation spread over 110 districts
across the 16 regions. Fifty-eight (58) out of the number
are in operation, 26 Projects are under construction, whilst
97 projects are ready to commence implementation by the
end of 2019.
223. Mr. Speaker, as a result of the intervention by government,
in 2018 this august house approved the following tax
incentives to the private sector business promoters:
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i. 5-years corporate tax holiday for 1D1F companies
ii. Exemption from import duties, taxes and levies on
equipment, machinery, and parts
iii. Exemptions from payment of duties and levies on raw
materials. This is real change.
224. Mr. Speaker, beyond 1D1F, the Strategic Anchor Industries
Initiative is one of the key components of our Industrial
Transformation Plan to diversify and transform the
economy by creating new pillars of growth and expansion
in the industrial sector. The key strategic industries under
the initiative are: petrochemical, integrated aluminium and
bauxite, iron and steel, vehicle assembly and automotive
industry, garments and textiles, pharmaceuticals, vegetable
oils and fats (in particular oil palm), industrial starch from
cassava, industrial chemicals based on industrial salt,
machinery and equipment manufacturing.
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DIGITIZATION
225. Mr. Speaker, Ghana’s digital transformation agenda is to
transform our development path in line with the global
realities of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Whether it is in
agriculture, medicine, education, banking and finance,
policing and security, or in how we govern ourselves, our
children and our future cannot fall behind in
the4thindustrial revolution driven by technology.
226. Mr. Speaker, our society continues to be largely informal.
In such an environment, access public services can be
difficult, and in most cases depends on who you know. In
a well-functioning society, citizens don’t need to know
someone or pay someone to get a passport, driving license
and even access to water and electricity. We cannot build
a fair and equitable society that runs on engines of bribes,
“goro boys” and “land guards”. For banks, lending rates are
high partly because of the high information problems in
establishing identity, and in verifying ownership of
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property. All these have to change if we are aspiring to
become a modern middle income country.
227. Mr. Speaker, with digitization, we are introducing new and
more efficient ways of doing things. We are changing the
way things are done in the affected institutions for the
benefit of ordinary Ghanaians. Here is a list of the reforms
we have undertaken in the digitization and formalization
process.
228. Mr. Speaker, the introduction of National ID Cards is a game
changer despite its teething challenges. It will provide every
Ghanaian and resident of Ghana a unique ID number that
will be integrated across all databases (Taxes, Passport,
Drivers Licence, National health insurance, Banking, Courts,
etc.). The process of issuing National ID cards will be
completed for all above the age 15 years in the first quarter
of 2020.
229. A world class Digital Property Addressing system has been
implemented and there is no location in Ghana without a
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digital address. The process of tagging all 4 million houses
with digital addresses is currently being undertaken by
NABCO recruits across all districts in Ghana. The exercise
should be completed in six months.
230. Government has also initiated the process of digitizing all
land records in the context of a new base map survey of
Ghana (which was last undertaken over 40 years ago). This
will be done with technical support of Ordinance Survey of
the UK.
231. Mr. Speaker, we have introduced mobile money payments
interoperability between different telcos as well as between
mobile wallets and bank accounts has been implemented.
This is a major step to financial inclusion and movement
towards cashless payments for government services from
next year. The interoperability between mobile wallets and
bank accounts that we have implemented in Ghana is the
first of its kind in Africa and practically provides all 34.5
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million mobile money account holders a branchless bank
account. This is real change.
232. Mr. Speaker, the National ID Card, Digital Addressing,
Mobile money interoperability and the digitization of our
land records will prove to be key in developing a mortgage
market, introducing a credit reference agency and reducing
lending rates. This is real change.
233. Mr. Speaker, we have also introduced Digital Drivers
licenses and digital vehicle registration. Indeed, the DVLA
is now been transformed into a world class institution and
the goro boys have been virtually eliminated. That is real
change.
234. Mr. Speaker, passport applications are now online, and
passport duration has increased from 5 to10 years. Again
the goro boys have also been eliminated in the process of
passport applications. That is real change.
235. Mr. Speaker, Renewal of NHIS registration via mobile phone
has been introduced. It is a phenomenal innovation with
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thousands of renewals every week. The goro boys have
also been eliminated in the process of renewing NHIS
registrations. That is real change.
236. Mr. Speaker, our hospital processes are also being
automated for efficiency. Following a successful pilot of 24
hospitals in the central region, Korle Bu teaching hospital,
37 military hospital, Ridge hospital, Koforidua hospital and
others are being automated and work on the others are
progressing steadily.
237. Mr. Speaker, the process of registering a business has also
been simplified and digitized. To register a business,
instead of filling four separate forms to start a business,
only one form is now required. The Registrar General has
merged all four starting-a-business application forms: TIN
application, SSNIT application, Business Operating Permit
application and Business Registration forms.
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238. Mr. Speaker, digitization has also been introduced in the
courts through the implementation of an electronic justice
system that allows the automated serving of court process
with speed and ease. Court documents will now be easy to
find and track, and there will be no duplication of the same
case being heard in different court rooms by different
judges. This is a game changer in the delivery of justice in
Ghana. This is real change.
239. Mr. Speaker, the introduction of Paperless Port system has
reduced the time to clear goods at the ports to less than 48
hours. The infamous long room has been abolished and the
process of clearing goods has been streamlined. This is real
change.
240. Mr. Speaker, we have introduced drones to get delivery of
critical medicines and blood to hospitals and clinics in hard
to reach areas. By the end of December this year Ghana
will have four distribution centres and is currently the
largest medical drone delivery service in the world. We have
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leapfrogged some of the most advanced countries in the
use of drone technology to deliver medicines. The project
is saving lives everyday and once again we have proven the
naysayers and doom mongers wrong. This is real change.
241. Mr. Speaker, the digitization of Police information systems
has resulted in the deployment of 1000 cameras across the
country with a central monitoring centre in Accra as well as
digitized call centres in Kumasi and Tamale. Together, the
Accra, Kumasi and Tamale centres monitor all the 16
regions. This is real change.
242. Mr. Speaker, the establishment of the Ghana Commodity
Exchange (GCX), an ultra-modern trading system linked to
warehouses located across the country, is to connect
markets, and expand marketing and farm gate
opportunities for buyers and sellers of agricultural produce.
This is real change.
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243. Mr Speaker, for the first time ever, through the
collaborative efforts of different agencies, (particularly the
BRRI of CSIR) Government launched a comprehensive
Building Code for Ghana in 2018 which is available online
at the Ghana Standards Authority website. This will
enhance standardization, quality and reduce costs.
Governance
244. Mr. Speaker to deepen and decentralize governance and
enhance peace:
i. We have created six new regions;
ii. We are proceeding with a referendum to elect
MMDCEs;
iii. We have settled the long running chieftaincy dispute
in Dagbon;
iv. We have appointed a Special Prosecutor for
corruption ; and
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v. We have passed into law, the Right to Information
(RTI) Bill which has been on the radar for the last 20
years.
ROADS
245. Mr. Speaker, any objective observer will agree that this is
a remarkable set of achievements in just under three years.
However, there is still a lot more to be done. Today the cry
everywhere in Ghana is about the poor state of our roads.
It is an unprecedented cry and it makes you wonder where
all the roads in the NDC’s Green Book are.
246. Mr. Speaker, this is why we are going to focus more on
fixing our roads across the country in 2020 and beyond. To
get the road sector moving and contractors back to work,
government will pay 80% of all contractors.
247. Mr. Speaker we have identified critical roads across each of
the 16 regions and construction would begin on all these
critical roads soon.
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248. Cocobod has also secured funds to continue with ongoing
and new cocoa roads. Work on these roads will also
commence soon.
249. As part of our new initiative to complement the traditional
execution of road projects, we have launched the
Accelerated Community Road Improvement Initiative. Just
this month, the Ministry of Finance released funds to the 48
Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces, who are
busy working on some roads in communities in Greater
Accra.
250. Mr. Speaker, the first phase of the Sinohydro arrangement,
is finally taking off. We have also been able to mobilize the
financing for over 150 roads nation-wide.
251. Mr. Speaker, Ghanaians want action on our roads, not
words or plans or Green Book claims about what has been
done. We intend to swing into action and let our work do
the talking for us.
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252. Mr. Speaker with this large number of roads to be
constructed, the year 2020 can aptly be described as “The
Year of Roads” along with a focus on all our flagship
programmes.
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SECTION FIVE: CONCLUSION
253. Mr. Speaker, it is clear from the foregoing that the
government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has worked
hard over the last three years to deliver a substantial
number of remarkable achievements which we are going to
consolidate going forward.
254. By way of summary and emphasis, I would like to mention
some these achievements:
255. Mr. Speaker, in the last 32 months:
1) We have doubled the rate of economic growth to make
Ghana one of the fastest growing economies in the
world;
2) We have expanded food production to make Ghana
self-sufficient in maize production through planting for
food and jobs;
3) We have also introduced and implemented Rearing for
Food and Jobs to develop the livestock industry;
4) Together with Cote d’Ivoire we have reached a
landmark agreement to have a floor price for cocoa
from next season;
5) We have passed a Fiscal Responsibility Act to entrench
fiscal discipline;
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6) We have reduced the fiscal deficit;
7) We have established a Fiscal Council;
8) We have issued a Eurobond with the Longest tenor,
Largest issuance, Least cost and Largest over
subscription;
9) We have reduced the rate of debt accumulation;
10) We have reduced the overall tax burden on
Ghanaians;
11) We have reduced electricity prices;
12) We have reduced benchmark values by 50%;
13) We have reduced inflation to its lowest in
27years;
14) We have reduced bank lending rates;
15) We have cleaned up the mess we inherited in the
financial sector;
16) We have saved the deposits of some 4.6 million
depositors;
17) We have established a Financial Stability Council;
18) We have attained a trade surplus for the first
time in over twenty years;
19) We have reduced our current account deficit;
20) We have increased Ghana’s import cover with
larger foreign exchange reserves;
21) We have reduced the rate of depreciation of the
cedi;
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22) Under our watch, Ghana has become the top
destination for foreign direct investment in West
Africa;
23) We successfully exited the IMF program that we
inherited from the NDC;
24) We have improved Ghana’s sovereign credit
ratings with the first ratings upgrade in more than a
decade;
25) We have doubled the capitation grant;
26) We have expanded the school feeding program;
27) We have expanded LEAP;
28) We have established the Nation Builders Corps
and recruited 100,000 graduates;
29) We have recruited over 350,000 people into the
public service;
30) We have purchased 567 vehicles, three
helicopters for the police;
31) We have launched a nation-wide emergency 112
number for the police, fire and ambulance services;
32) We have implemented a new basic curriculum
from kindergarten to primary six with a focus on
reading, writing, arithmetic and creativity (the 4Rs);
33) We have redefined basic education to include
senior high school and technical schools;
34) We are absorbing the cost of WASSCE
registration fees for students;
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35) We have restored teacher training allowances;
36) We have introduced new reforms to allow
Teacher trainees to now be awarded degrees rather
than diplomas after graduation;
37) We have restored nursing training allowances;
38) We have introduced drones to deliver medical
supplies;
39) We have procured ambulances for all 275
constituencies;
40) We have cleared the NHIS arrears that we
inherited and have revived the collapsing NHIS;
41) We have paid the outstanding contributions to
pension funds that we inherited;
42) We are constructing 10 youth resource centres
across ten regions;
43) We have established 75 Greenhouses at
Dawhenya to enhance vegetable production. This is
the largest in West Africa;
44) Through our Private-Public Partnership with
NOVARTIS, Government is offering the drug
hydroxyurea to relieve the pain and suffering of sickle
cell patients in Ghana. This is the first such initiative in
Africa;
45) We have increased the DACF to persons with
disabilities by 50%;
46) We have employed persons with disabilities to
man 50% of all our toll booths;
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47) We have established the first government adult
shelter to support victims of human trafficking. There
is one for victims of domestic abuse but this is the first
ever shelter dedicated to victims of human trafficking;
48) We have connected 400 rural communities to the
telephone network in the last 3 years;
49) We have increased Peacekeeping allowances
from $31 to $35 per day;
50) We have established and implemented the
National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program
(NEIP) with over 10,000 beneficiaries;
51) We have established the Students
Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI) to inculcate the spirit
of entrepreneurship in students from the high school
level;
52) We have established the Zongo Development
Fund and we are providing infrastructure to Zongo
communities;
53) We have brought transparency into the allocation
of oil blocs;
54) We have established and funded the Office of the
Special Prosecutor;
55) We have passed the Right to Information Act;
56) We have created 6 new regions;
57) Ghana has been selected to host the secretariat
of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement;
58) We have established three Development
Authorities (Northern, Middle Belt and Coastal) which
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have started implementing the Infrastructure for
Poverty Eradication Program (IPEP);
59) Construction of 80 thousand-metric ton
warehouses under the “One District One Warehouse
Initiative.”;
60) Construction so far of 300 out of 560 small earth
dams in the five northern regions, in fulfilment of the
“One Village One Dam” promise;
61) We are implementing the one district one
factory policy
62) We have waged a war against illegal mining to
protect our water bodies and have now introduced a
community-based mining regime for small scale
miners;
63) We are implementing the National ID Card;
64) We have implemented the Digital Address
System;
65) We have implemented mobile money
interoperability;
66) We have made it possible for anyone with a
mobile money account to have basic banking services;
67) We are digitizing the land registry;
68) We have introduced digital drivers’ licences;
69) We have introduced online applications for
passports;
70) We have introduced online renewal of NHIS
registrations through the mobile phone;
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71) We have launched an online platform (iTAPs) for
the filing of taxes;
72) Our hospital processes are also being automated
for efficiency;
73) We have implemented online business
registration at the Registrar Generals Department;
74) We have implemented an e-justice program at
the courts;
75) We have implemented e-procurement at the
Public Procurement Authority;
76) We have implemented paperless ports;
77) We have established a Ghana Commodities
Exchange;
78) We are on course to establish an integrated
Bauxite and Aluminium Industry;
79) We are on course to establish a vibrant domestic
automotive industry;
80) We have completed preparations to commence
the construction of the Pwalugu Dam by the end of
November this year for irrigation, flood control and
electricity;
81) The Accra-Tema Railway line is now in operation
and the Kojokrom-Tarkwa and Achimota-Nsawam
lines have also been rehabilitated;
82) We launched the “Year of Return” to mark the
400th anniversary of the first slaves taken from Africa
to the Americas. It has resulted in increased tourism;
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83) We are constructing a Dry Bulk Jetty as well as a
multipurpose container terminal at Takoradi Port;
84) We are starting the construction of 10 fish
landing sites at Teshie, Axim, Dixcove, Elmina,
Winneba, Mumford, Senya-Breku, Fetteh-Gomah,
Moree, and Keta;
85) We have completed the reverse flow project to
move gas from the West to the East of Ghana;
86) The construction of Tamale Airport Phase 2 has
started;
87) Tamale Interchange is being constructed;
88) Pokuase Interchange is being constructed;
89) Tema Motorway Interchange is being
constructed;
90) Obetsebi Lamptey Interchange is being
constructed;
91) We have commenced airline operations to Wa;
92) We have revived Anglo-gold Ashanti, and put
more people to work;
93) We have commenced the journey to build a
National Cathedral;
94) We have established the Social Partnership
Framework with Employers and Labour as well as
Faith-Based Organisations;
95) We have launched a comprehensive building
Code for Ghana for the first time, and last but not
least;and
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96) Mr. Speaker, we have implemented Free Senior
High school education for all Ghanaians.
256. As we can all testify, the last three years has been
remarkable and we are grateful to God and the good
citizens of Ghana for what we have achieved. Going
forward, we will consolidate the gains made and pursue our
transformation agenda, so help us God.
257. This, Mr Speaker, as we push on, in the knowledge that
Ghanaians will know that we mean well, we do well and
that, by the Grace of the Almighty, we shall all proclaim
with one loud voice in melodic unison that: ‘ONE GOOD
TERM WILL DESERVE ANOTHER.’ ‘ONE GOOD TERM WILL
DESERVE ANOTHER.’
258. He has indeed laid the foundation for our country and His
hands will complete it. The way forward requires bold and
courageous leadership and this Government has exhibited
such mettle: The free SHS programme, the banking reform,
the renegotiation of the energy sector, the new Ghana-
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Ivory Coast declared floor price and living income
differential of $400 per tonne, the termination of the PDS
contract and the Financial Responsibility Act.
259. But fellow Ghanaians, we must go forward together. Let us
break disunity and poverty with a rod of iron. Let us go
forth with a Spirit of power, love and self-discipline.
260. This 2020 budget assures us of a stable and peaceful year
in which there are no new taxes, our roads will be built, we
shall strengthen partnerships with Labour, Employers and
Faith-Based Organisations, lending rates will come down,
the National Development Bank and the Enterprise Credit
Scheme will finance industry, businesses, mortgages and
entrepreneurs. We shall indeed consolidate the Gains for
Growth, Jobs and Prosperity for all our people. Let us rise
and build together!!
261. Mr. Speaker, I submit to you the Nkosuo and Nkabom
Budget.
152

 

Ken Ofori Atta
262. God Bless us all and God Bless our homeland, Ghana.
263. Right Honourable Speaker, I so move.

 

 

 

Source: Ghanapubliceye.com

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