Government has restored macro stability – Minister

The Government, on Tuesday, said it has spent the first one and half years of its four-year tenure to revive and restore the Ghanaian economy, returning it to a stable footing from what it came to meet.

It said the restoration of the economy had been its first priority as a government, hence it spent the first years to restore the macro stability, “a fact to which all economic observers now attest to,” Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Minister of Information Designate, stated at media briefing in Accra.

He said the Government would continue with the next step, which involved the deepening of its job creation initiatives in the private and public sectors.

“Our principal job creation path, however, is to fully execute programmes that aim at stimulating the creation of more economic activity and jobs, like the 1D1F programme,” he said.

The press briefing was organised to update the media on government’s job creation initiative, the One District one Factory (1D1F), and the progress made on the roadmap towards the lifting of the ban on illegal mining, also known as Galamsey.

Giving a breakdown of the Government’s ongoing initiatives, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah announced that on the public sector, financial clearance had been given for over 145,000 jobs, involving 23,033 health workers, more than 9500 educational workers, 4,000 police recruits, and 2,700 agriculture extension workers.

There were also 1,049 Local Government workers, 20,000 afforestation workers and 100,000 Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCO) trainees, all forming parts of the private and public sector job creation initiatives.

On the 1D1F, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said, so far, 18 factories had been accredited under that programme and 50 more were to be accredited before the end of the year.

He said the 1D1F programme, which aimed at developing industries in the districts, starting with factories, was a paradigm that sought to create jobs at the local level and bring with it the many benefits including jobs, incomes and local development.

He said the Government had consistently noted that “it will facilitate the efforts of the private sector under the IDIF initiative to establish these factories. And that is exactly what we are doing.

“It must be stated that government has not said the state shall build these factories on its own.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the New Patriotic Party’s commitment is on page 43 of the Party’s Manifesto and it states; ‘In collaboration with the private sector, the NPP will implement the One District One Factory’ initiative,” Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said.

He explained that the 1D1F initiative had, so far, seen about 10 financial institutions committing GH¢4.43 billion in loanable funds to prospective venture capitalists.

Commenting on the small-scale mining enterprise and the Galamsey roadmap to lifting the ban, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah indicated that the State was doing a validation programme of concessions, which involved the reviewing of licenses for the validation of concessions.

At that stage about 700 of those licenses remained unclaimed or invalidated and the state was considering reallocating them to small-scale miners who had been trained to do legitimate mining activities, he said.

In April 2017, a moratorium was put in place suspending artisanal and small-scale mining operations through the country, which was further extended indefinitely due to the heavy pollution of major water sources by activities of illegal operators.

Mr Charles Cromwell Bissue, the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, and a Presidential Staffer, said the validation programme was initially scheduled for a week but had to be extended to one month, which would end on Friday, October 12.

He said out of the 1,350 concessions belonging to the galamsey operators provided by the Mineral Commission, 650 had, so far, gone through the validation.

He said the Government was fast-tracking its interventions towards lifting the ban on galamsey operations after the validation to give way to a well-coordinated mining operation.

Source: GNA

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