Economic growth will increase from 7.9 % – Akufo-Addo assures

President Akufo-Addo has assured of his government’s commitment to improving the country’s economy.

In his second state of the nation address, the president lauded the growth of the economy from 3.6 percent recorded in December 2016 to 7.9 percent recorded by the end of 2017, and was confident that the economic fortunes of the country will be better this year.

“We are determined to put in place measures to ensure irreversibility and sustain macroeconomic stability, so that we will have no reason to seek again the assistance of that powerful global body[IMF].”

Inflation rate for January 2018 is yet to be announced by the Statistical service but analysts are predicting a rise due to the recent increase in petroleum products.

Inflation rate increased slightly from 11.7 percent in November to 11.8 percent in December. This was mainly due to higher prices of housing, transport and clothing.

Akufo-Addo cited a World Bank report as well as a Bloomberg report which indicate that the country is moving in the right direction towards economic growth.

On agriculture, Akufo-Addo reiterated government’s efforts to sign some 500,000 farmers unto the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme.  He added that some dams have already been identified and rehabilitated in the three northern regions ahead of a full implementation of the One-Village-One Dam policy this year.

Speaking on fisheries, he stated that “more effective measures are being taken against illegal, unreported and unregulated methods of fishing. We have also instituted measures to avert premix diversions, and strict auditing of landing beaches are in place. I can state that, since November, there has been no report of premix diversion, a marked improvement from the past.”

Meanwhile a total of GHS 800 million was saved last year as a result of sole sourcing, a development the president believes is commendable compared to previous years.

In 2017, 394 sole sourcing requests were made, out of which 223, representing 56.6 percent were approved, and 171 (43.4 percent) were rejected.

Further expatiating, the president noted there were 346 requests for restricted tenders, and 167 (48 percent) were approved, and 179 (52 percent) were rejected.

Comparatively, in 2016, the Public Procurement Authority had 622 sole sourcing requests, out of which 597, representing 98 percent were approved and 25 rejected.

There were also about 592 requests for restricted tenders, of which 99.15 percent were approved and 5 rejected.

He noted that “government has been able to provide better budgetary support to the constitutionally-mandated institutions that hold government accountable.”

These include the Auditor-General’s Department, Parliament, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), and the Police Service.

Meanwhile, government is seeking to spend some GHS200 million to solve the sanitation problems in the country this year. The president said this is in keeping with his ambitious promiseof making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.

By Nana Oye Ankrah and Joshua W. Amlanu