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General News Sun, 9 May 2021

Government to implement US$200million Jobs and Skills Programme - Ken Ofori Atta

Government is fast-tracking the implementation of the US$200million Jobs and Skills Programme to enhance job creation significantly. The intervention is designed to facilitate new and expanded private sector businesses to employ many more people.

Mr Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance at the Minister's Press Briefing, said, "this we believe is a more sustainable way to rebuild this economy instead of expanding Government employment schemes."

He said government was rolling over eight additional interventions, starting this May, 2021 under the Ghana CARES “Obataanpa” programme.

These interventions are in the Health, Agriculture, Tourism, Trade, Digitization, Science and technology, Housing and financial services.

The Minister said by the end of July, government would have a new Development Bank that would provide long-term wholesale financing to the private sector through Commercial banks.

He said at its minimum, "we should ensure social justice and social mobility for most Ghanaians."

He said in the coming days, government would move swiftly to address some of the issues that the #Fixtheeconomy campaigners had raised.

The Minister said governmeny was working with the Minister for Water and Sanitation to immediately ensure potable water to areas with felt need, especially in the most urban areas.

"I am working with the Ministers of Roads and Highways, Transport and Interior to address congestion along the major highways," he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta said government introduced, restored, or enhanced social protection policies to support the vulnerable and address the pertinent issue of joblessness.

These interventions include the Free Senior High School Programme with over 1.2 million enrolments, the Zongo Development Fund Programme, School Feeding Programme with over 3.4 million beneficiaries, LEAP Programme with over 334,084 Households, NABCO with 100,000 beneficiaries, allowances for Teacher Trainees for some 47,135 beneficiaries and allowances for Nursing Trainees with some 50,825 beneficiaries.

He said government was able to preserve jobs in the public sector in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We acknowledge that as a Nation we need to do more to ensure decent incomes for all Ghanaians," he added.

The Minister said government had implemented several digitalisation programmes to transform the economy, formalise the informal sector, and increase efficiency in public service delivery.

These initiatives include the issuance of over 15 million National ID Cards, the digital addressing system for over seven million homes, mobile money payment interoperability system, the introduction of the paperless port system, automation of driver’s license and vehicle registration, renewal of NHIS registration, land records digitisation with block-chain technology, and automation of passport application.

Mr Ofori-Atta said, "we established two Social Partnership Programmes; one with Organised Labour and the Ghana Employers Association and the other with Faith-based Organisations to provide a platform for a cohesive and trustful relationship between the partners on issues of national development.

He said GIPC was working assiduously to attract the likes of Amazon to Ghana to deepen the tech entrepreneurial ecosystem for Ghanaian entrepreneurs.

The Minister said between 2017-2019, the economy grew by 7 per cent on average in response to government’s prudent management of the economy and implementation of government flagship programmes, being one of the highest and sustained growth periods.

"As a result of the prudent policies, the economy continued to remain resilient in 2020, even at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
Source: GNA
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