General News Fri, 1 Nov 2019
Following the settling of the GH¢1.2 billion legacy debt, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has been brought back to life, President Akufo-Addo has stated.Introduced by the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) government under former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the scheme suffered some setbacks under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) governments, headed by the late President Mills and John Dramani Mahama.
Ahead of the 2016 General Elections, the then opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, promised to clear the huge debts that were stifling the smooth implementation of the scheme.
Walking the talk, this government has, since taking over the reins of power, made a conscious effort to restore the NHIS to its glorious days.
Touting his administration’s credentials at the 8th edition of the Ghana Economic Forum held in Accra yesterday, the President said: “The National Health Insurance Scheme has also been brought back to life through the clearing of the GH¢1.2 billion legacy debt of the past government.”
The Economic Forum brought together various stakeholders in the financial sector to develop ideas to help the growth of the sector, especially, when not long ago the sector witnessed some challenges, leading to the collapse of some financial institutions.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that “my government continues to demonstrate its commitment and determination to ensuring that the habits and sins of past managers of our public finances are no longer visited on this or future generations.”
He added that proper management of the economy had resulted in its ability to finance its flagship policies such as the Free Senior High School, which is currently enrolling some 1.2 million pupils, among others.
According to him, the government had introduced a seven-component Business Regulatory Reform Programme, which is a three-year initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and implemented in partnership with other stakeholders.
Aimed at improving the business atmosphere in the country, “the Programme will help Ghana to have one of the most transparently and efficiently regulated business environments in Africa,” the President asserted.
He continued that these reforms will also reinforce the strong measures that have been taken for financial and economic stabilisation, and together, position Ghana strategically to take maximum advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and strengthen our role as the host country for its Secretariat.
Before concluding, he remarked that the government is “determined to bring prosperity to our people by working closely with the private sector. It is the private sector that can create the needed job opportunities for the people of our country, and I am confident that the Ghanaian private sector will rise to the challenge.
“My government, on its part, will continue to build an enabling environment to provide the private sector with the needed catalyst to operate profitably, and grow and remain globally competitive.”
The Managing Director of Barclays Bank, Mrs Abena Osei-Poku, who spoke at the forum, said the President’s commitment towards the establishment of an integrated African market that ensures smooth flow of goods, services and capital across the continent to stimulate economic growth and development was a great legacy for Ghana and Africa.
She praised the President’s show of leadership by taking a firm decision to host the Africa Continental Free Trade secretariat in Ghana.
She added that “the last 24 months have been very eventful for the financial sector in Ghana. Our sector is now strong and ready to support real sector growth.
“To achieve and sustain economic and financial stability, I believe a triad of responsibilities and actions must be deployed.”
The Ghana Economic Forum was incepted in 2012 to bring together captains of industry and thought leaders to discuss and debate key issues affecting the Ghanaian economy and offer solutions to enhance the country’s economic development plans.