Business News of Wed, 14 Dec 201644
Stabilising economy will be my major priority - Akufo-Addo
President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated that creating jobs and stabilizing the economy will be one of the major priorities as he prepares to assume office from January 7.
In an interview with the BBC, Nana Akufo–Addo said it is critical Ghana institute policies that can quickly help deal with an economy which he believes has been on the nosedive over the past five years.
“We have to get our economy moving again, to address the problems of low growth, widespread unemployment, and huge debts because this is the reality of our situation in Ghana. And we have to deal with it,” he added.
He said if these issues are not dealt with, the country could run into all kinds of problems down the line.
In a related development, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is promising to build a business friendly environment that will aid the growth of enterprises in the country.
This is the bedrock of the new government’s manifesto to the electorates before the December 7 elections. The NPP is also proposing to review most taxes paid by businesses.
According to the party, it is looking at reviewing the corporate tax from 25 percent to 20 percent. It is also proposing to abolish the 17.5 percent tax on financial services, and removing some import levies.
The move will obviously result in some cuts in government’s revenue.
But the NPP is quick to add that, other tax policy measures like improving upon tax compliance and expected revenue from the TEN and the Sankofa Gye Nyame Gas Project, will make up for the expected loss with these tax cuts that they are proposing.
The New government is also looking at policies that will expand the economy, which will result in a double-digit, economic growth.
On growing the economy
The NPP is also planning to implement policies that will help reduce the public debt, to appreciable levels by reducing government’s borrowings.
The party will also push for the enactment of Fiscal Responsibility law, which will lead to the creation of a Fiscal Council. This body is expected to influence revenue and expenditure programs of government.
But economist, Dr. Joe Abbey tells JOYBUSINESS setting up of these councils should be seen as the answer to current challenges facing the economy adding that, government must rather allow exiting state institutions to work.
On stabilizing the Ghana cedi firmly against the dollar, the new administration is proposing an increase domestic production and also matching the amount of cedi in circulation to the dollars in the system to firmly address challenges facing the local currency.
It is also looking at the creation of a Financial Stability Council to deal with to dealing with challenges with the financial sector.
A Nana Addo government is also looking at implementing policies that will help position Ghana as a financial services hub, which could see the establishment of offshore banking.