Due to the lack of measures to mitigate the negative impact of economic factors, the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) should have done more to prevent the current levels of mismanagement which have resulted in a declining economy, flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has said.
To him, the current “bad economy” has led to foreign businesses declining to lend money to the government through the Eurobond, forcing the government to recently pull out of one that was intended to have been issued.
“A few days ago, international investors gave a damning verdict on the Ghanaian economy by rejecting various attempts to borrow yet another $1 billion,” he stated.
“With our economy on the decline, small-scale businesses are also suffering. The challenges faced by businesses are even more severe because we do not have the shock absorbers to absorb the shock of the experience as a result of the mismanagement of the economy by the Mahama government.”
The NPP flagbearer was addressing an extraordinary general meeting of the Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI) in Tamale, on Monday, August 8, 2016, when he made the comment.
He reiterated earlier promises to abolish taxes on raw material imports and reduce prevailing interest rates. The leader of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo party highlighted plans to establish policies to develop micro- and small-scale enterprises across the country, which he said hold the key to the nation’s development.
He promised a turnaround, which he said will empower the private sector as a whole, and the small business sector in particular, to drive Ghana towards economic prosperity, the generation of jobs, and a rapid rise in the living standards of Ghanaians.
“In this regard, we will pass a Fiscal Responsibility Act and reduce government borrowing to make more money available for banks to lend to the private sector to reduce interest rates. Fiscal discipline will also result in a reduction of government borrowing and a crowding in of the private sector,” he said.
Additionally, the formalisation of the Ghanaian economy, through the establishment of a national database, using the National Identification System as the primary identifier, with linkages to the databases of institutions such as the Police, NHIS, Passport Office, Immigration, Courts, Ghana Revenue Authority, and DVLA, Mr Akufo-Addo said, would be done.
This, according to three-time presidential nominee, will facilitate the movement from cash payments to mainly electronic payments through bank accounts, and for financial inclusion purposes, adding that “the goal of financial inclusion is to make sure most of the bankable public have bank accounts”.
“This will increase the supply of savings into the financial system and result in the reduction of interest rates,” he stated.