The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said Ghana’s decision to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a short-term measure for a balance of payment support.
According to him, what the country needs in the longer term is a major structural shift in the economy.
Mr Ofori-Atta said this when he presented the 2022 Mid-Year budget statement in Parliament on Monday.
The presentation is in fulfilment of Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and Regulation 24 of the Public Financial Management Regulations (L. I. 2378).
The Minister said the structure of the economy is still largely primary despite the numerous attempts to structurally transform it through various industrialisation programmes.
“We are heavily reliant on primary commodities, extractive industry and are price takers on the market. Our capacity and productivity remain low both in the public and private sectors.”
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that there were huge inefficiencies and limited skills to foster the country’s development and improve the standards of living, adding: “In this regard, any adverse global development impacts us negatively no matter how efficient we manage the economy.”
On how to reduce the country’s vulnerability to global shocks, the Finance Minister said the government over the last few years implemented flagships programmes including the One District, One Factory initiative, Planting for Food and Jobs, Road and Railway development programme, Covid-19 recovery programme, the GhanaCARES ‘Obaatan Pa’ and adding value to the country’s products.
To Increase productivity in both the public and private sectors of the economy to drive the country’s transformation agenda, he noted that the government would implement programmes such as the ‘YouStart’ as well as the Training and Retraining programme to enhance the skills of Ghanaians, especially the youth.
“Mr Speaker, our forward march is underpinned by our significant investment in structural transformation. Let me emphasise that over the last 5 years, we have been prudent in the usage of our tax revenues.
“As a government, we have made sure that these resources are channelled into interventions that impact the lives and livelihoods of our Ghanaians,” Mr Ofori-Atta added.
Reacting, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the Minister failed to disclose returns of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy).
Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah, ISD