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We have made significant strides in management of economy – President

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who marks a year in office, Wednesday, says his administration had made significant strides in economic and governance, and was optimistic that key milestones chalked during the period would put the country on the desired path of progress and development.
Also, the policies instituted during that time, would ensure probity and accountability, prudency in the management and utilisation of national resources, improved security for Ghanaians, better environmental practices, energy and food security, and the right atmosphere for private sector growth, to stem the youth unemployment situation confronting the nation.
At an encounter with the media at the Flagstaff House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said his administration had risen to the challenge, and demonstrated that doing things differently achieves positive results.
“We inherited an economy that was in distress, choked by debt, and with macro-economic fundamentals in disarray. We had to do things differently, and those were my marching orders to all members of the government.”
“I am glad to report that the hard work on that front is yielding positive results. The macro-economic fundamentals have seen improvements through improved fiscal and monetary discipline,” the President said.
The President said the efforts of his government had seen an impressive rebound in GDP growth, witnessing a 9.3 per cent growth in the third quarter of 2017, as against the 3.5 per cent for the same period of 2016.
“Latest information indicates that inflation is at 11.8 per cent, down from 15.6 per cent at the end of December 2016,” he stated, indicating further that, the country’s debt situation had improved tremendously with the annual average debt rate declining to about 13.6 per cent as at September 2017, from 36 per cent in recent years.
“As a result, the public debt stock as a ratio of GDP is 68.3 per cent, against the annual target of 71 per cent for 2017, and end 2016 actual figure of 73.1 per cent. Boring figures, I know, but believe me, they spell good news for the economy,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said the improving macro-economic fundamentals during the past year, had made it possible to transfer GH¢3.1 billion of Tier 2 pension funds into the custodial accounts of the pension schemes of the labour unions, which has stood in arrears for the past six years.
In the same period, the country made significant savings from the procurement regime, accruing GH¢145.7 million; $146.2 million; €1.85 million and £22,400, which the President noted, had provided the incentive to open up government procurement.  
On the issue of the payment of debt owed contractors, the President told the media that his administration was clearing those arrears, with government so far disbursing GH¢826 million of the GH¢1.2 billion loan contracted by the previous administration, for which the Road Fund was used as collateral.
“I am being urged to pay contractors. I am paying them. In 2017, nearly GH¢1 billion (GOG – GH¢300,400,156.75; Road Fund- GH¢664,091,476.88) of the GH¢1.6 billion owed road contractors was cleared. In January this year, we have disbursed GH¢125 million out of the remainder of GH¢600 million to the contractors.”
“It is important to note that all these debts were accrued under the previous administration. I will also point out that much of the statutory arrears, that we met, have been cleared, that is debts to the NHIS, the District Assembly Common fund, and the GETFund,” he said.

Source: GNA

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