All must support nation-building

The Minister of Finance yesterday presented the Mid-Year Budget Review and Economic Policy of Government to Parliament.

In the lead-up to that, various sources had given some projections and even suggested what could be done about certain government programmes.

For instances, some thought the Free Senior High School Policy would be reviewed so as to make parents pay for some items, whereas others expected arrears of remuneration owed personnel of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCo) to be cleared and the personnel integrated into the YouStartprogramme.

YouStart is an entrepreneurial initiative through which the government provides funding and technical support to the youth (18-40 years) and youth-led businesses to assist them start, build and grow their own businesses.

Most importantly, many people expected the government to seek approval of new financial requests and appeal for support to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Many of such things did not turn out as expected.

For instance, the minister made no requests for new figures as the government intends to stick figures in its main budget and concerning the IMF, he simply said the decision to go to the global financial institution again, despite the government’s earlier position not to do so, was a short-term measure for balance of payment support and that in the longer-term, the government had to effect a major structural shift in the economy.

A good part of the minister’s presentation was dedicated to programmes being run by the government and some praise for its efforts.

This was unexpected but the Ghanaian Times is interested in the statement on record that the government has set an ambitious target to turn the economy around within the next two-and-a-half years because it had laid the key infrastructure upon which to anchor programmes for national growth.

It is the prayer of the Ghanaian Times that the government would do well to achieve whatever targets would bring about the expected growth while being proactive in addressing eventualities that can derail whatever gains made.

Along the way, the government must not hesitate to revisit projects and programmes it has abandoned or reviewed existing ones if such actions would enhance national growth and development.

The idea of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme for road infrastructure as captured in the minister’s speech generally is good.

However, ii appears the special arrangement of Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain (DBFOM) in the case of Accra-Tema Motorway and Extension PPP Project (27.7km) under which the completed road will be tolled to recover its whole life cost as well as pay lenders and provide a return for equity investors is an excellent idea.

This must be extended to, at least, the major roads across the country so motorists would pay for their use of such roads.

That is to say the government must revisit payment of road tolls now that E-Levy has failed to bring in the expected revenue.

As things stand now, different views on the management of the country’s economy are expected, but they should be constructive rather than propagandist and unproductive.

All must support the building of Ghana.

Show More
Back to top button