Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo has touted Government of Ghana’s efforts and achievements in stabilising and improving the economy over the years, making it one of the big giants in West Africa and Africa as a whole.
Prof. Soludo speaking as the keynote speaker at the K. B Amissah-Arthur Economic Forum Friday said Ghana is doing well economically compared to its neighbours; Nigeria.
Comparing what both countries have achieved and established over the years, the former Nigerian Central Bank Governor said “On the size of GDP Ghana is now the 10th largest in Africa as at 2018 with GDP growth averaging over 6 percent recently, Nigeria is stalk at 2 percent. Unemployment less than 3 percent, Nigeria is at 23 percent while youth unemployment is about 13 percent, Nigeria is 36 percent. and poverty index 8-10 percent depending on the measure of poverty, Nigeria some people characterise as now as the poverty capital of the world; inflation around 9 percent and this is very important. Ghana is the most stable country in West Africa.”
Moreover, he revealed that “Ghana is ranked 110 out of 178 countries in the world and Nigeria ranks number 14 with Yemen and Somalia ranking first and second respectively. So you can put it in context, it’s ranked from the worst to the best. Nigeria is on the red alert list and you guys (Ghana) are there very very far competing with the several of the developed countries in the world”.
According to Prof. Soludo, the comparison is not to portray Nigeria as the worst country but to let Ghanaians know how much they’ve achieved and improved economically over the years.
The World Bank has however projected Ghana’s growth target for 2019 to be 7.4% which is mainly to be driven by the industry sector, especially oil, gas and mining.
Manufacturing is also expected to post higher growth. In the medium-term (2019-2022), overall GDP is projected to grow on average at 7.0%, as the effects of oil on growth declines and non-oil growth strengthens.
Inflation is expected to remain in the central bank’s target range of 6-10% in 2019, while the fiscal deficit is expected to be marginally higher at 4.2% of GDP.
Prof. Soludo speaking at the event further encouraged the Government of Ghana to continue with its good works by intensifying its reforms and innovations and urged them never to take for granted what the country has achieved.
“Whatever Ghana is doing to produce these results, including its macroeconomic stabilisation especially fiscal consolidation and structural policies, it must intensify albeit, with continuous innovations and reforms. Comparisons are not to make you complacent or depressed but to put your efforts in context. Never take what you have achieved for granted”, he said.
The former Nigerian Central Bank Governor also advocated the need for government to include in its special initiatives a One Village, One Clinic project, powered by technology to improve the standards of living for Ghanaians.
The lecture was held in memory of the late Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur on the theme “Making Sense of Economics”.