Ghana’s 2019 Budget would scale up infrastructure projects, especially in the areas of roads and rails, to help open up the country for rapid economic growth, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has assured.
This, he said, was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) principle of “Leaving no one behind”, as the government worked assiduously to ensuring that all citizens shared in the nation’s endowed resources.
Mr. Ofori-Atta, who was addressing a stakeholders’ meeting in Kumasi, to solicit inputs into the 2019 Budget, said the government was striving to structurally transform the economy.
The Minister in his mid-year fiscal policy review of the 2018 budget statement and economic policy presented to Parliament recently, acknowledged the fact that the country needed substantial money to bridge its infrastructure gap.
To begin addressing this, he said, government had reached a barter agreement with Sinohydro Group Limited of China to provide finance for road projects, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, and rural electrification.
The meeting, held under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, had in attendance representatives of the Association for Ghana Industries, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ghana Union of Traders Association, Association for Small-Sale Industries and Poultry Farmers Association.
The various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as technocrats from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and civil society organizations were also represented to make their inputs into the Budget.
Mr. Ofori-Atta indicated that the government had planned to continue to pursue investment in human capital and agriculture, adding that through the delivery of the Infrastructure for the Eradication of Poverty Programme direct resources would be provided to shore up development in the rural areas.
The Free Senior High School, Nation Builders’ Corp and Planting for Food and Jobs programmes would also be given a priority.
The Finance Minister hinted that the National Development Planning Commission in collaboration with his sector had aligned the National Medium- Term Development Policy Framework with the SDGs and targets.
This was being done with the notion to support achievement of those noble targets in order to transform the country – industry, innovation and infrastructure, quality education, clean water and sanitation, zero hunger and poverty, amongst others.
On the banking sector, he said the government had demonstrated commitment to working with the Bank of Ghana to resolve the financial sector challenges.
“The Ministry is committed to working with the banking sector to save depositors’ money and restore confidence in the banking sector,” Mr. Ofori-Atta noted.