The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his administration, over the course of its first year in office, has risen to the challenge, and demonstrated that doing things differently achieves positive results.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “we inherited an economy that was in distress, choked by debt, and with macroeconomic fundamentals in disarray. We had to do things differently, and those were my marching orders to all members of the government.”
Thus, upon assumption of office, his Economic Management Team set to work to sort out the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals, and to find imaginative ways to deal with the oppressive debt situation.
“I am glad to report that the hard work on that front is yielding positive results. The macroeconomic fundamentals have seen improvements through improved fiscal and monetary discipline,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that “Real GDP growth has rebounded, recording a growth of 9.3% in the third quarter of 2017, against the 3.5% figure for the same period of 2016. Latest information indicates that inflation is at 11.8%, down from 15.6% at the end of December 2016.”
He made this known on Wednesday, 17th January, 2018, at a media encounter to mark his first year in office, at an event at the Flagstaff House.
Touching on the debt situation, the President indicated that Ghana’s debt situation has improved, with the annual average rate of debt accumulation of 36% in recent years declining to about 13.6%, as at September 2017.
“As a result, the public debt stock as a ratio of GDP is 68.3%, against the annual target of 71% for 2017, and end 2016 actual figure of 73.1%. Boring figures, I know, but believe me, they spell good news for the economy,” he said.
For the first time in a long while, the President noted that “we have been able to give better budgetary support to the constitutionally mandated institutions that hold government accountable, i.e. Auditor General, Parliament, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), and the Police.”
He continued, “Thanks to the same figures which mean improving macroeconomic fundamentals, we have been able to transfer some GH¢3.1 billion of Tier 2 pension funds into the custodial accounts of the pension schemes of the labour unions, funds that have been outstanding for six years, and about which the labour unions had been loudly complaining.”
Recounting the statements made in the run-up to the December 2016 elections about the threats of sole-sourcing to the economy, President Akufo-Addo outlined a few figures to illustrate this point.
“In the year 2016, the Public Procurement Authority had 622 Sole Source Requests. 597 of that number, 98%, were approved, and there were 25 Rejections. There were 592 Requests made for Restricted Tenders, and 587 (99.15%) were approved, and there were 5 Rejections. A grand total of zero savings was made,” he said.
The President continued, “In 2017, our first year in government, 394 Sole Sourcing Requests were made, out of which 223 (56.6) were approved, and 171 (43.6%) were rejected. There were 346 Requests for Restricted Tenders and 167 (48%) were approved, and 179 (52%) were rejected.”
As a result, the President added that “the savings made over the year, as a result, amounted to GH¢145.7 million; $146.2 million; €1.85 million and £22,400.”
The savings made, he noted, provide the incentive to open up government procurement.