General News of Tue, 31 Jul 201834
‘$90bn needed to tackle infrastructure deficit’ - Atta Akyea
Government has been advised to go to the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and raise $90 billion to help close the country’s annual housing deficit, among others, which now stands in excess of 1.7 million units.
Samuel Atta Akyea, Minister for Works & Housing, who made the proposition, was speaking at the media launch of Ghana’s multi-sector international exhibitions namely, 3rd Powerelec Ghana, 2nd Construct Ghana, 2nd Ghana Motor Show, 2nd Auto Parts West Africa and Ghana MineExpo 2018 at Marriot Hotel in Accra recently.
He said this was very necessary because Ghana’s total gross domestic product (GDP) cannot bridge the infrastructure gap which also encompasses deficit in roads, hospitals, bridges, water and sanitation.
He stressed: “We could go for about US$90billion from the stock market to completely solve the country’s infrastructure deficit, if you look at the huge infrastructure challenges we are facing in the country.
“We are moving at a tortoise pace; small money, small projects. Why don’t we go for good money and use it to wipe the mass poverty that we have in terms of the infrastructure deficit and let the economy turnaround?”
According to the Minister, the huge infrastructural gap has been an albatross hanging around the neck of governments’ both past and present and if nothing concrete is done about it, the situation could get out of hand.
He said government should give serious thought to the proposal to raise money on GSE, which has the potential to enrich the lives of Ghanaians.
“If it’s a huge problem dating back to Kwame’s Nkrumah’s time and we are just saying that this is a perennial thing, why don’t you go for good money? The ultimate benefit is that immediately you affect infrastructure, it has a cascading effect on Gross Domestic Product and the living standards of people.”
“If such funds are raised and are strictly applied to projects in a very good manner, Ghana’s economy will see a turnaround.”
He said government could collaborate with real estate developers to carry out this project.
The Minister added that his outfit was designing a complete document on the infrastructure projects that Ghana needs and how to raise the money for such projects.
The multi-sector exhibitions are expected to bring together various players across the world who are interested in the African market to learn about business opportunities in Ghana.
Spanning September 6 to 8, this year at the Ghana International Trade Fair, La, it is also billed to bring together industry players from more than 15 countries with companies in the areas of energy, construction, mining, roads and automobile.
It is supported by the Indian High Commission and the Federation of Indian Export Organisation with partnership from Turkey.
Organisers include FairAct, VeriFair and Exhibition Masters.
Prince Hari Crystal, Managing Director of Exhibition Masters, in a remark, said foreign companies billed to participate in this year’s exhibition look forward to striking new partnerships and agreements, set up production plants or get new franchise in Ghana.