General News of Friday, 4 July 2014
In spite of the economic challenges being experienced under the ruling National Democratic Congress, the Reform for Youth Empowerment has rated the party as the most successful government apart from the CPP.
Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio is around 50% short of the acceptable limit of 60%, and critics have condemned the government’s excessive taste for loans which they claimed nothing concrete have been realized from the country’s ballooning debt.
But the group, which has persistently defended and backed government’s decision to borrow from the Breton Woods Institution, argued the decision to borrow to finance development projects in Ghana should be the preserve of the elected government.
However, the Reform for Youth Empowerment in a statement conceded: “And that decision when made will not be without grave consequences. Those consequences when they arise, the elected government in power must be ready to deal with it.”
Ghana is currently reeling under 12% budget deficit (according to the 2013 fiscal year), but the group said the deficit is a “general reflection of the NDC’s Government unprecedented investments into the human capital growth of Ghana as well as its key economic infrastructural developments in laying the solid foundation for the economic transformation of the Ghanaian economy”.
It therefore declared: “The National Democratic Congress (NDC) apart from the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) is the most successful government in the history of Ghana – particularly in the Fourth Republic … given our political leadership in better managing our country’s ever challenging economic conditions and in promoting nationhood in ethnic diversity.”
Below is the full statement
REFORM FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
JUNE 30TH, 2014
BEHIND, THE BUDJET DEFICIT %.... IS AN UNPRECEDENTED HUMAN AND ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURAL INVESTMENTS
Ghanaians ultimately in the 2016 elections will decide on the NDC’s Government decision to ‘’excessively’’ borrow to invest in the development of Ghana’s human capital growth and key economic infrastructures in consolidating our economic future, sustaining the emerging Middle- Class and uplifting millions from poverty from the Lower Class – as to whether that decision serves Ghana’s interest and/or defends Ghana’s future.
The NDC Government cannot be intimidated and/or blackmailed in its political determination to rebuild the Ghanaian economy for Ghanaian ownership largely at the back of Direct Foreign Investment (FDI), Efficient Tax Regime, Institutional Reforms and State borrowing – duly supported by growing indigenous Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(SMEs), Value Added Non-Traditional Export (NTEs), Regional Free Zone Export Enclaves, Value for Money Public Contracts, fighting Public/Private Corporate corruption, to name but a few.
The above is a decisional legacy under President Mahama, which we are more than willing as a political Party in 2016 to campaign on and defend with all our will and might. A campaign and/or an election we are certain to win. For the NDC, the next election is about the next generation. Every election is about electing generational leaders blessed with the capacity to positively impact not only their generation but also the next generation – as evident in the elections of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, former President Jerry John Rawlings and J.E.A Mills.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) apart from the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) is the most successful government in the history of Ghana – particularly in the Fourth Republic … given our political leadership in better managing our country’s ever challenging economic conditions and in promoting nationhood in ethnic diversity.
The right of Ghana to urgently develop itself now either through borrowing/debt or purely on self-determination is a development decision for elected governments to make. And that decision when made will not be without grave consequences. Those consequences when they arise, the elected government in power must be ready to deal with it.
It is for this reason that the NDC Government though concerned with the budget deficit and its impact on the economy it is not least intimidated within the context of our overall objective conditions of our country’s underdevelopment and supreme national/economic interest. Given that the budget deficit is a general reflection of the NDC’s Government unprecedented investments into the human capital growth of Ghana as well as its key economic infrastructural developments in laying the solid foundation for the economic transformation of the Ghanaian economy, these massive investments are reflected in the country’s Public Sector Wage Bill, growing Education, increasing Energy/ Oil and Gas exploration, modernizing Agriculture, expanding Transport/Roads networks, Healthcare, Institutional Capacity Building, to name but a few.
In the face of growing population, demanding Middle/Lower Class, increasing and expanding Towns/Cities – coupled with growing demands for increasing Income, Roads, Schools, Hospitals, Housing, Security, potable Water, clean Environment, etc. The recent widening of the budget deficit due to rise in public debt makes good sense – from 43% of GDP in 2011 to 48% in 2012 and 53.5% in September, 2013. It is the development understanding of these figures within the objective conditions of our development efforts taking into consideration our overriding national interest that makes the difference. Devoid of this profound development reality the contextual interpretation of these figures will be gravely misplaced. As it is the case presently.
Government placing moratorium on acquisition of new loans except for contingencies loans – with Government’s debt to GDP ratio within reach (of 50%) not near acceptable limit/range of 60% ... the NDC Government under the leadership of President John Dramani Maham, will aggressively continue to explore development options available in the supreme interest of Ghana’s economic recovery, stability and growth.
In the face of the ongoing challenges facing Ghanaians, particularly sympathizers of the NDC Government, in making decision(s) towards the 2016 elections…will take into consideration the NDC Government’s strong policy efforts in addressing economic challenges but also more importantly development achievements including, but not limited to the following productive sectors of the economy:
Human Capital Growth/Development: To promote human capital development, enhance productivity and improve public services/standards –the NDC Government has invested heavily in the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP). Today the Single Spine Pay Policy with respect to the public sector wage bill constitutes 70 percent of revenue accrued to pay public sector workers. This government is resolving to zero down to 35 percent of government revenue by 2017. Also, the pay policy has cost over Ghc7 billion to Government in compensation expenditure in implementing the pay policy from 2010. For the NDC Government public services are key to its transformational agenda hence its commitment to its sustainability.
Also, in order to encourage mass employment outside the public sector government is promoting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with funding support. To this end, Youth Enterprise Development Fund by government has made available GH¢10 million for starts-up. In addition, with support from the Italian Government 6.7 million Euros as well as the Dutch Government’s 700 million Euros available for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). These initiatives and more are aimed at addressing challenges associated with limited access to financing capital and reducing cost of borrowing so as to promote sustainable businesses. The government by making cheap loans to funding starts-up and supporting SMEs is demonstrating clear commitment to increasing economic/employment opportunities for the productive Youthful-Economic Class.
Energy/Oil and Gas: Towards energy self-sufficiency. The NDC Government has invested and still heavily investing in the development of: Bui Hydro Electric Power 400MW, VRA’s Navrongo Solar System 2.5MW, Takoradi (T3) 133MW, Kpone Thermal Plant 220MW; T2 TICO Expansion 110MW, Deep Water Tano Block(DWT), West Cape Three Point(WCTP), Atuabu Gas Processing Plant, LPG Storage Tanks, Onshore and Offshore Pipelines from Jubilee Oilfield to Atuabu through to Aboadze Thermal Plant, etc.
Transport/Road Infrastructure: To facilitate movement of people, goods and services in order to promote and enhance economic productivity, the Transport/Road Sector has received government’s investment attention; Tamale International Airport under construction, Kotoka International Airport’s major expansion ongoing, Kumasi Airport rehabilitation, Takoradi/Tema Ports undergoing major expansion, Tetteh Quarshie –Madina, Anyaa /Awoshie Pokuase , Burma Camp Roads; Buipe-Tamale, Fufulso-Sawla, Dodi-Pepesu Nkwanta, Tartwa-Bogoso, Ayamfuri, Giffaid Roads, Kwame Nkrumah 3Tier Interchange etc.
Agriculture: Data announced by Ghana Statistical Service showed agriculture expanding at annual rate of 12.7 percent between January and March. This growth demonstrates governments’ continuous investment in modernizing agriculture towards increased production of food crops to attain food self-sufficiency and reducing import. Government investment in over 920 imported tractors, irrigation projects, fertilizer subsidy, storage facilities, ready markets, to name but a few has impacted positively in general farming.
OIL REVENUE MANAGEMENT: Transparent use of Oil revenue by this administration on amortisation of loans for oil and gas Infrastructure, road infrastructure, institutional capacity building and agriculture modernisation to name but a few cannot be overemphasise. With institutional and legal framework in place this government has not shirk its responsibility in ensuring that revenues accrued so far have been applied per the laid down laws and guidelines.
Not to mention, the Health, Education and Water Sectors which have all received tremendous infrastructural developments and expansion in aiding the acceleration of government development agenda in its quest of attaining a full middle-income status.
In the light of the above growing development achievements despite funding challenges due to tight external deteriorating funding conditions - We wish to commend the NDC Government highly – particularly the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for creating the right fiscal space for the continuous investments in the development of key productive sectors of the economy. This speaks to the increasingly effort by the Ministry of Finance in representing Ghana’s development interest.
In fulfilment of all these, it is now evident that the NDC Government is not guilty of excessive borrowing and/or impulsive spending and that the budget deficit is nothing but a reality of development effort (expressed in an overrun public expenditure on key development projects).
The NDC Government in fulfillment of its political mandate is resolute and remains unperturbed in the face of the political determination by the opposition, New Patriotic Party (NPP) to win back power at all cost by undermining the economy of Ghana and making the country ungovernable through its needless press conferences and organized political demonstrations.
LONG LIVE GHANA!!!
LONG LIVE THE NDC!!!