President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians that the first budget of his administration would contain well-thought through policies that would put the ailing economy he inherited back on track.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the people reposed their confidence in him largely because they believed he could turn the dwindling fortunes of the country around, noting that it was incumbent on him to justify their trust in him.
The Budget will be read in Parliament on March 2.
The President made this known on Saturday when he addressed members of the Ghanaian community resident in Banjul, The Gambia.
This was after he attended the inauguration ceremony of President Adama Barrow and the 52nd Independence Day celebration of The Gambia.
Whilst acknowledging the fact that the economy inherited from the Mahama government was not in the best of shape, he, nonetheless, maintained that “we are going to fix it. We have outlined a number of prudent policies and measures which are contained in our first budget to be read on the 2nd of March.”
The President noted that those policy initiatives and measures, amongst others, would ensure that the private sector was strengthened to flourish.
“It is only when the private sector flourishes that we can create the high number of jobs required by the teeming masses of the Ghanaian youth. When the private sector flourishes, then we will be on the sure path towards progress and prosperity for all Ghanaians.”
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his belief that his government would revive the economy, adding that “we are going to get our economy going again, and get enterprises in our country to be more competitive, so that they can begin to employ more and more people”.
Widespread unemployment in Ghana, he said, “is a major social and economic problem and we have to do something about it. I believe that we are going to do something about it, and you will see that through the measures we are going to put in place in our budget”.
The President applauded the members of the Ghanaian community for being “law abiding”, stating that all reports he had garnered on his short visit to The Gambia was indicative of the fact that the Ghanaian community, most often than not, did not fall foul of the law.
He said to continue in the same vein.
Touching on the concerns raised by the leadership of the Ghanaian community, President Akufo-Addo assured them that the issue regarding the acquisition of biometric passports, and the opening of a consulate in Banjul, would be addressed soon by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, who was present at the meeting.
On the matter of high import duties levied on them at the ports in Tema and Takoradi, the President indicated that the issue was one of grave concern to Ghanaians and Ghanaian business owners.
He observed that the issue of high taxes was being looked at by the Minister of Finance, and a number of tax cuts would be announced in the March 2 budget.
President Akufo-Addo appealed for prayers for Ghana, his government and himself, explaining that “I need your prayers all the time for me to be able to succeed. I have put together a very solid team, and I assure you that we will work together with the same spirit – the spirit of wanting to serve our country”.