MD of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Alhassan Andani tells government not to be complacent on economy

Mr Alhassan Andani, the Managing Director Stanbic Bank Ghana, has appealed to the government not to be complacent about the gain in macro-economic stability but should take steps to ensure that businesses took advantage of the positive environment to boost growth.

Speaking to journalists in Accra, Mr Andani said any relaxation in consolidating the gains in macro stability could endanger the potential growth and called on the government to do more to expand the contribution of all sectors of the economy.

He said the government must pursue responsible fiscal spending targeted at development of infrastructure such as roads, railways and gas, adding that these would have knock on effect on the other sectors.

Mr Andani was commenting on recent positive assessment of the Ghanaian economy as analysts and international bodies continue to paint a positive outlook for the economy, citing improved macro stability, high commodity prices and the onset of the commercial production of oil.

He said there was the potential for the economy to register strong economic growth without the oil sector, tapping from sectors such as construction, agriculture and the services industry.

The economy, he said, was benefitting from the strong performance of the country’s main exports such as gold and cocoa with oil lending support, adding that unless there was a drastic change the prices of these commodities were expected to keep their current high levels.

“Countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China and other emerging economies will demand minerals such as diamonds, manganese and bauxite, which Ghana is blessed with. With the prices of these minerals going up, Ghana is sure to rake in a lot of revenue from that sector”, he said.

Mr. Andani said while oil would contribute significantly to the country’s revenue, agriculture and the construction sectors would continue to drive economic growth.

He called on the government to be prudent in directing expenditure to growth areas such as infrastructure, roads and railways to boost job creation.

The latest bullish outlook on the economy came from the Standard Bank, parent company of Stanbic Bank Ghana, which predicted a healthy 16.3 percent growth for 2011.

Mr. Stephen Bailey-Smith, Head of Africa Research, Standard Bank, said in the bank’s African markets research report that the Ghanaian economy was the fastest growing in the world.

He said the country’s fiscal and monetary policy continued to promote a relatively stable backdrop for future growth.

“We see growth moderating to an annual average of 16.3 in 2011, easing further to around 8.25 per cent in 2012,” he said.

Mr. Bailey-Smith said provisional figures for the first quarter of 2011 reveals that Ghana’s real Gross Domestic Product grew 23.0 per cent from 9.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010 making it the fastest growing economy in the world.

Source: GNA

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