Business News Sun, 12 Nov 2017

Good news about electricity tariffs in 2018 budget – Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says government is moving to set in motion the process for the review of electricity tariffs.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “In the budget to be read by the brilliant Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, 15th November, I am sure you will hear some good news, in this regard. Industry is going to be given all the assistance we can muster.”

The President was speaking at the 6th Association of Ghana Industries’ Ghana Industry and Quality Awards held at the Banquet Hall of the State House, on Saturday, 11th November, 2017, when he made this known.

Excited that “businesses are no longer burdened by the erratic power supply that wrecked our nation in recent years”, President Akufo-Addo noted that ‘dumsor’ appears now to be a thing of an unlamented past, thanks to the work done by the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko.

Lamenting the decline in industrial growth in recent years, President Akufo-Addo stated that “from a growth rate of 15.1% in 2008, the last year of the government of the outstanding Ghanaian statesman, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of the Republic, growth in industry slumped to 0.8% in 2014, -0.3% in 2015, and further down to -1.4% in 2016.”

He noted, however, that “as a result of the relative normalisation of the power situation in the country, and the implementation of our business-friendly policies, which has led to a growing stabilisation of the macroeconomy, decline in inflation and interest rates, industry, for the first quarter of 2017, recorded the impressive growth rate of 11.5 percent, the highest sectoral growth in the economy.”

The policies Government has put in place over the last 11 months, President Akufo-Addo indicated, which have shifted the focus of Ghana’s economy from taxation to production, are beginning to work, and are helping to reduce the cost of doing business in order to spur the rapid growth of industry.

“Indeed, our efforts at restoring business confidence are beginning to yield positive results, as confirmed by the AGI Business Barometer, showing a consistent rise in business confidence throughout this year.

“To the extent that exports guarantee foreign exchange and a stable currency, the greatest aspiration any of us could hope for is an investment in the vision of Ghana becoming an export-oriented economy, driven by industry,” he added.

In pursuit of this agenda, President Akufo-Addo revealed that 192 business plans for the 1-District-1-Factory initiative have been approved for take-off, with the AGI working closely with Government to ensure the success of this project.

This collaboration, he said, has resulted in a Suppliers Credit Facility of $2 billion from China, arranged by Government for AGI, to provide equipment, machinery and other facilities in support of the programme.

New Economic Growth poles

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the rapid acceleration of the growth of Ghana’s economy will occur if the country can create new growth poles for the development of the economy.

“A revived textile and garments industry will be one of them. In the course of this meeting of Parliament, we will establish an Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Authority, to exploit the entire value chain of our considerable bauxite deposits. In the same manner, an Iron and Steel Development Authority is also in the pipeline to do the same for our iron ore deposits,” he said.

The President continued, “We want to promote the installation of vehicle assembly plants, and move rapidly to establish petrochemical industries, now that our gas resources can be brought into play to provide cheap power for our industrial growth. If the requisite investments to undertake these new industrial initiatives can be secured, the development of the economy, and its capacity to generate jobs, will be dramatically enhanced. We are going to do our maximum to secure these investments.”

In working systematically to accentuate the decline in interest rates by strengthening the macro-economy, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “Government is also designing innovative solutions to remove one of the main constraints to rapid industrial growth, i.e., access to medium and long term finance for our industrial enterprises. Very soon, the solutions for addressing this problem will be unveiled.”
Source: Flagstaff House Communications Bureau