The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated the need to change course in the management of the country’s public finances, if it is to achieve the vision of a Ghana that is self-sufficient, and less dependent on the benevolence of handouts and foreign aid for its critical development needs.
“If we are to realize the vision of a Ghana without aid -that is a Ghana no longer dependent on the benevolence or charity of foreign tax payers and donors in the management of our public finances, we must change cause,” the President said.
The President made the remarks when he inaugurated the Presidential Fiscal Responsibility Advisory Council at the Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday.
The Fiscal Responsibility Advisory Council is chaired Dr Paul Acquah, former governor of the Bank of Ghana.
The members are Mr Abdullah Ali-Nakyea, Prof Eugena Amporful, Dr Nii Noi Ashong, Prof Augustine Fosu, Dr Robert Osei, and Dr Nii Kwaku Sowa.
The Council amongst others has been tasked with the responsibility amongst others to assist and advise the President in formulating and implementing a national fiscal responsibility policy that would ensure fiscal discipline in government expenditure and safeguard the public purse.
Secondly, the Council has the responsibility to advice the President on how to ensure that as provided by law, the budget deficit does not exceed 5 percent in the fiscal year and that the budget yields a primary balance.
Furthermore, the Council would advise the President on how to ensure that the debt to GDP ratio does not exceed 65 per cent.
“In addition the Presidential Fiscal Responsibility Advisory Council will develop and recommend policies for the maintenance of prudent and sustainable levels of public debt, ensure that the fiscal balance is maintained at a sustainable level and guarantee the management of the fiscal risk in a prudent manner to as to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and value for money in public expenditure”
These measures according to the President has become necessary to mitigate against the mismanagement of the country’s public finances by the previous government that necessitated the return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.
“I am determined that fiscal rectitude becomes an essential feature of our DNA in the management of our national economy,” the President said.
The inauguration of the Council according to the President should address the concerns of many Ghanaians who have expressed worry about a possible return to the dark days of fiscal instability as the country prepares to exit the current IMF programme entered into by the previous administration.
“My government continues to demonstrate its commitment and determination to ensuring that habits and sins of the past managers of our past public finances are no longer visited on this or future generations”, he assured
Financial stability Council to help strengthen financial sector
Inaugurating the Presidential Financial Stability Advisory Council at a separate ceremony at the Jubilee House, on Tuesday, the President recalled the uncertainties that recently bedevilled the financial sector system leading to the collapse of a number of commercial banks and the bold steps taken by the Bank of Ghana to undertake a clean-up and restore confidence.
The President was concerned that those weaknesses in the banking system did not only undermine confidence in the flow of funds in the country, but also posed a risk to depositors and their dependents.
The long period it took the regulator detect and restore sanity in the financial system, the President said required that measures were put in place to mitigate against any future occurrences adding that a financial system in distress introduces uncertainties in the economy and undermines the stability and soundness of the financial system.
“It is to prevent any disastrous occurrences in the banking system and its ramifications across the entire financial system that my government has taken the bold steps to establish a presidential financial stability advisory council,” the President said.
The Council will among others advise the President on how to strengthen and reinforce the stability of the financial system of the country, acting as an inter-institutional consultative coordination body and as well coordinate the regulation supervision at the micro level by focusing on matters of common concern in the various financial regulators involved in the regulation and supervision of financial entities in the country.
Additionally, the Council is to help evaluate and mitigate financial stability risks by focusing on a timely detection and mitigation of risks in the stability of Ghana’s financial system.
The seven-member Presidential Financial Stability Advisory Council is chaired by Dr Ernest Addison, governor of the BoG.
The members are, Mrs Charles Adu Boahen, Mr Justice Yaw Ofori, Mr Daniel Ogbarmey, Mr Hayford Atta Krufi, Mr Ignatius Wilson
The President was confident that the members of both Councils would bring their rich experiences to bear on the workings to advance the cause of the effective management of public finances in the country and strengthen its financial systems.