Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has commended the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for being outspoken about government’s policies.

“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 a very vocal Opposition,” he said Wednesday.

He made the comment while presenting his 2020 Budget to Parliament.

Mr Ofori-Atta added that the Akufo-Addo government has achieved significant structural changes for the economy.

“We have delivered on our flagship programmes,” he said.

2020 budget

He touted macroeconomic achievements of the Nana Akufo-Addo led administration stating that “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.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said 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 Ghana’s economic transformation forward in line with the

He announced the President’s Consolidated Programme and the Ghana  Beyond Aid vision as follows:

i. Domestic Revenue Mobilization: “We will take a radical policy and institutional reforms towards raising our tax-to-GDP ratio over the medium term from under 13% currently to around 20 %. The focus will be on efficiency and base broadening rather than imposing new taxes on Ghanaians and businesses,” he said.

“This way, we can raise our domestic contribution to our ambitious transformation agenda, in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid vision,” he said

ii. Business Regulatory Reforms: A 3-year reform initiative, coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), 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 ambition of making Ghana the Gateway to Business in West Africa,” he said.

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, the Government has established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to provide coordinated policy guidance and support to the FDI drive,” he said.

iv. Enhanced Financial Support to Local  Enterprises: The Government will deploy early in 2020 a number of initiative to enhance the access of our business to finance, including medium and long term capital. These include the new National Development Bank, the Ghana Incentives-based  Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (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’s vision of establishing Ghana as a regional financial services centre in West Africa. The  Concept Note has been approved by the 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 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 of 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. The 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 the Ghana Design and Manufacturing Centre (GDMC). A centre 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.