The Dean of the University of Cape Coast School of Business, Prof. John Gatsi is wondering where the government of Ghana is going to get the money from to implement the big promises President Akufo-Addo made in his 2021 State of the National Address.
In an interview on TV3’s New 360 and 3FM Prof. Gatsi noted that the President has not given any clear indication as to how the government is going to raise revenue to help implement the projects.
President Akufo-Addo during his first State of the National Address for his second term said the COVID-19 “pandemic has exposed the need to expedite the process of moving Ghana to a situation beyond aid. That is why Government has developed and is currently implementing the one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme to transform, revitalise and modernise our economy, and return it to high and sustained growth for the next three years.”
According to the President, “The key projects under the CARES Programme include:
- supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into commercial farming;
- building the country’s light manufacturing sector;
- developing engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy industries;
- fast tracking digitalisation;
- developing Ghana’s housing & construction industry;
- establishing Ghana as a Regional Hub;
- reviewing and optimising the implementation of Government flagships and key programmes; and
- creating jobs for young people, and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society, including persons with disabilities.”
President Akufo-Addo said that “The establishment of the National Development Bank, under the Ghana CARES programme, is expected to provide support to businesses in Ghana. Government expects economic activity, which has already picked up, to do so even further, following the ongoing vaccination exercise, and the easing of restrictions put in place to curb the effects of the disease. We expect GDP growth to rebound strongly this year to nearly five percent (5%), above the IMF’s 2021 January projection of 3.2% growth for Sub-Saharan Africa for 2021.
The medium-term outlook supported by the implementation of the Ghana CARES Programme is bright. We are confident that, together, we will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a stronger and more resilient economy.”
Prof. John Gatsi is, however, wondering how the government is going to achieve this especially the time that many of the promises made to Ghanaians in his first term are yet to be fulfilled.
The economist noted that last year, President Akufo-Addo made the promise during one of his Covid-19 update addresses said the government was going to build 88 district hospitals in one year.
“We were even told that the hospital projects were going to start last year August but here we are 2021 and I am not sure if any of the projects have stated” – He said
Prof. Gatsi noted that “article 67 does not give the format for the SONA, however, article 36(1) and article 35(7)(8)&(9) give the metrics based on which the state of the nation should be assessed from time to time.”
He said “a country with heavy cloud of corruption, huge debts with interest burden and inequity of social supports, cannot give any periodic accounts without including these issues.
For him, “when SONA becomes promise driven the essence of SONA is belittled” adding that “the recent call by traders for police escort to Burkina Faso to buy tomatoes does not support the no foodstuff import claim.”
Prof. Gatsi finally pointed out that the true state of the cocoa sector did not come up.
By: Efo Korsi Senyo / awakenewsroom.com