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Akufo-Addo justifies large size of government 

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President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday said the 2017 performance of the economy has vindicated the decision taken to appoint 110 Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State.
    
“It is this competence coupled with integrity in the conduct of public transactions, ensuring value-for-money, protecting the public purse, that are going to bring the dream of a happy and prosperous Ghana, a Ghana Beyond Aid, quickly within our grasp,” President Akufo-Addo stated during a media encounter in Accra.

Quoting the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s speech delivered at the opening of the New Year School, President Akufo-Addo stated: “The question that we should ask is how can you inherit a budget deficit of 9.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and then proceed to reduce taxes, bring down inflation.
     
“Bring down interest rates, increase economic growth (from 3.6 per cent to 7.9 per cent), increase your international reserves, maintain relative exchange rate stability, reduce the debt to GDP ratio, and the rate of debt accumulation.
    
“Pay almost half of arrears inherited, stay current on obligations to statutory funds, restore teacher and nursing training allowances, double the capitation grant, implement free senior high school education and yet still be able to reduce the fiscal deficit from 9.3 per cent to an estimated 5.6 per cent of GDP?
    
“Quite simple, this is a remarkable achievement and this is what we mean by competent economic management.”
    
President Akufo-Addo noted that with Free Senior High School (SHS) now a reality, the first batch of students to be enrolled under the scheme has finished one term, and gone back to school after the Christmas break.
    
“If it has taken the introduction of Free SHS to encourage media and other commentators to find the many problems that bedevil our schools, I simply take it as one more reason to cheer the Free SHS”.
    
President Akufo-Addo assured Ghanaians that the Government will continue to work systematically to solve the problems in the educational sector, not just of the SHS, but from the Kindergartens to the Junior High Schools as well.
    
“We shall put greater emphasis on technical, agricultural and vocational training, and skills training in general. We have no choice but to educate and train our workforce to match the needs of the modern economy,” he said.
     
President Akufo-Addo said, it is only possible if the country prioritizes and accelerates the development and application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), and also develop the capacity to design and manufacture machines, parts and tools for ourselves.
    
“The two Ministries of Education and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) are working together to step up the development and application of appropriate technologies to solve the variety of problems that confront us at this stage of our country’s development.
    
“This is to be supported with a national strategy to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education throughout our educational system, and stimulate the interest of our pupils and students, especially girls, in Science, Technology and Innovation,” he said.

Source: GNA

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