‘We’ll Recover Despite Covid-19’

Ken Ofori-Atta

THE MINISTER of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has assured Ghanaians that the economy will recover, revitalize and transform despite the effects of the coronavirus.

“We shall pivot off the AfCFTA headquarters in Accra for Ghana to become a dynamic regional hub. We have planted the seeds for a fast-paced and more inclusive recovery,” he told Parliament on Wednesday.

“I want to assure this House that we will recover, we will revitalize, and we will transform the economy,” he added.

According to him, recognizing the role of capital and credit, the government was certain that the revitalized financial sector would support the country’s recovery efforts and sustain growth.

“Mr. Speaker, let me give you a glimpse of our new strengthened financial ecosystem which will facilitate credit and investment to the private sector,” he said, explaining further that “We have established the Ghana Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) to facilitate lending to the agriculture sector; the Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) to support  indigenous participation in the banking sector; the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) to modernize agricultural transactions and provide security for our farmers; and the Ghana Deposit Scheme (GDS) to protect depositors funds.”

He also said the government was working on “the National Housing and Mortgage Finance Scheme (NHMFS) to provide mortgages to our working class and middle class citizens, the GH¢2 billion Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) to support large businesses, and the CAPBuss scheme run by NBSSI to support MSME’s among others to sustain and complement such reforms.”

“We have also established a National Development Bank which already has commitments of over $500 million as a wholesale bank to further support these financial institutions,” the Finance Minister stated, indicating that in 2021, the country would see significant investment in infrastructure, especially affordable housing.

“These interventions will create more jobs and enhance artisanal skills. A few days ago, my colleague, Atta Akyea and I joined President Akufo-Addo to commission 204 new houses at Tema Community 22.

“These houses were largely constructed and supervised by local contractors and consultants under the NMHFS,” he explained.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the project was completed in nine-months, amidst Covid-19 pandemic, and created over 1,500 jobs, indicating, “We will replicate this housing model across the country and alongside the agenda 111 district hospitals programme.”

He asserted that the government expected that its digitalization programme in the public sector would improve efficiency and enhance the delivery of service.

“Government introduced the Digital Addressing System and the National ID programmes to ensure that all Ghanaians and their dwellings, as well as business locations, are uniquely identified. All these efforts have been made to formalize the economy and improve its global competitiveness,” he pointed out.

“I am in awe of what God has done in the last four years. Not only have we accomplished the miraculous economic turnaround, we have also gathered our 12 baskets leftovers to begin the implementation of our GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES (Obaatanpa) programme,” the minister said.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House