Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Finance Minister, has revealed that the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana responded well to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the oil-producing West African nation.
He said, suddenly Ghana and for that matter the pharmaceutical industry realized its potential of producing personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers and other products that hitherto, the country was importing.
He further said that the government is focused on finding resources for businesses in order to keep them in operation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Government has already provided GHSIbillion stimulus to assist small and medium scale enterprises (SME) to keep them afloat in the wake of the virus.
Speaking to Joy News, Mr Ofori-Atta said: “My responsibility is, how do I come by these resources to keep the businesses in operation?
“That is really the issue. Because we have seen a response from the pharmaceutical industry with regards to sanitizers, the PPE that hitherto we were importing.
“Suddenly, we have realised our own capacity to do that and that is very encouraging and therefore we are looking at the support to give to businesses to keep functioning. I understand that the global supply chain has also been disrupted.
“We have in the six months made sure that people are safe (from the virus) and we have tested more than most countries in Africa, our preparedness plans was faster and swift due to the clarity of the president,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta further said the Akufo-Addo Addo-led government is highly optimistic of a victory in the December 7 elections, therefore will not engage in reckless spending and create problems for itself ahead of the elections.
He explained that if the government digs a hole in the economy ahead of the elections, it will have to come back to fix it beginning January 21st after , in his view, President Akufo-Addo has been sworn into office again for his second term.
He said that the projected budget overrun for this year will not be influenced by capturing electoral votes.
This follows concerns that the new budget deficit that have been [rejected by the finance minister is aimed at political vote and but actually economic recovery.
The Finance Minister insists the current record of government is enough to actually win the Akufo-Addo administration a second term after this year’s elections.
“It is amazing when you have millions of people around the world raising the concerns. I think the issue really is the application of resources that we have.
“I don’t know but it has been three and half years of seeing how government has operated, there has to be trust and we the using the money well.
“At least from the Ministry of Finance, I can assure you that the presidency will ensure that the resources that we have are used judiciously. We are confident that by God’s grace the people of Ghana will reelect us.
“If you are doing that, then you don’t want to dig a hole for yourself. You truly want to make sure that you stand well in January 2021,” he told Joy News Thursday July 16
The elections will take place on December 7 this year.