President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the newly inaugurated members of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to help develop measures to increase domestic revenue mobilisation for development.
He entreated the 49-member commission, chaired by Prof. George Gyan-Baffuor, former Minister of Planning, to, as a matter of priority, develop a strategy to increase domestic revenue mobilisation above the current 14 percent tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio.
Members on the commission include the Director-General of the NDPC, DrKodjoEsseim Mensah-Abrampa, and Ministers of State responsible for Finance, Health, Education, Food and Agriculture, Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Energy, Trade and Industry, Employment and Labour Relations, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as Gender and Social Protection.
The commission also has the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, and the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel KobinaAnnim as members.
Representatives from all 16 regions of the country are also part of the commission as well as development experts, economists, governance experts, environment experts and spatial planning experts.
President Akufo-Addo inaugurated the board at the Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday evening and urged the members to “identify the ways and means to help enhance significantly the country’s capacity for domestic revenue mobilisation to realise her development potential and thereby create opportunities for the vibrant and dynamic youth and to improve the livelihoods of all Ghanaians.
“Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio of 14.3 per cent compares unfavourably with our peers in ECOWAS and the world over. Ghana as the second largest economy in ECOWAS should not have one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the community,” he said.
“The average tax-to-GDP ratio in West Africa stands at 18 per cent and indeed, the recommended ratio for ECOWAS member states is a minimum of 20 per cent,” the President added.
“The average for OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries is 34 per cent. It is thus no surprise that the developed nations of the OECD can readily find the means to fund their own development, particularly, their infrastructure development, whereas we are constantly struggling to do the same. The NDPC should have this issue as a special focus,” President Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo further entreated the NDPC to synchronise and harmonise the multiple frameworks in existence such as Ghana at 100, Ghana Beyond Aid, and the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme into the national medium term development policy framework 2022–2025, for purposes of national development.
“We also need to develop pointers and tools to eliminate duplication in implementation of policies and plans across all sectors and at all levels.
“I want to see results, therefore development planning must drive the following, agenda for building back better, agenda for youth development, agenda for entrepreneurial development, and ultimately, agenda for jobs,” President Akufo-Addo noted.
Prof.Gyan-Baffuor, in an acceptance speech on behalf of the commission, pledged to work with his team to put together a framework to captures the aspirations of Ghanaians, taking into consideration, the technical and political imperatives of development.
“On behalf of my fellow commissioners, and on behalf of the Director-General of the NDPC Secretariat, I wish to inform you that we have accepted the responsibility placed on us with all humility,” he added.
BY YAW KYEI