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Business News Fri, 30 Nov 2007

Akufo-Addo: Eurobond success shows confidence in economy

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a leading aspirant in the New Patriotic Party's flagbearership race and MP for Abuakwa South, has stated that the $750m Eurobond that the country raised on the international capital market is an indication of the trust the international community has in Ghana’s economy.

He sees that as a clear indication of the confidence people in the international community attach to Ghana’s economy which has improved tremendously under the NPP administration.

The Abuakwa South MP, made these submissions on the floor of the House yesterday during the continuation of the debate on the budget and financial statement for 2008 which was presented by Finance Minister Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on November 15th this year.

"Mr Speaker, the Eurobond is of great significance to this nation of ours because it shows that we are weaning ourselves from the International Monetary Fund and other donor agencies and that we are now charting our own part.”

He therefore commended the Finance Minister and the Ministry for initiating and implementing pragmatic policies that have further cemented the trust the international community has in the country’s economy.

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“It is a good sign that we are on our way to achieve economic independence and from the way we are moving the sky should be the limit, no wonder, Mr Speaker, that the Finance Minister and his team have dubbed this budget, a 'brighter future budget.’”

Nana Akufo-Addo was however of the view that the funds raised should be disbursed quickly for the various intended projects to ensure that people benefit from it so that more can also be raised for other purposes.

He commended the government for working against all odds to commence work on the Bui Dam, which according to him has been on the drawing board for many decades. He was particularly delighted the project will transform northern Ghana, which lags behind the rest of the nation in terms of development.

On the oil find, he said, the government’s idea to restrict the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to its core duty has paid off, reflected in the recent oil discovery. He was however of the view that proper measures need to be put in place to ensure that revenue from the find is properly accounted for.

Taking his turn, Mahama Ayariga (NDC, Bawku Central) said government has failed in the provision of potable water to the citizenry that is why reported cases of guinea worm keep increasing over the years.

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He said, the private sector that the NPP government claims to be the engine of growth has failed the nation because it has failed to employ the large number of unemployed youths in the country.

Mr Ayariga also mocked the increases in the number of pupils in basic schools saying that though the number has increased, the quality is nothing to write home about as almost 50 percent of school children who sat for the Basic Certificate Examinations failed the exam.

Joseph Boahen Aidoo (NPP, Amenfi East) commended Government for setting aside some ¢25 billion as seed money for the Northern Development Fund, adding that it is the first time since Nkrumah’s regime that such a conscious effort has been made to develop the north.

He appealed to the government to extend such initiatives to other regions, especially the Western Region, where most roads are in very bad shape.

Source: Cynthia Boakye