Invest in the private sector – AGI CEO tells government

The Chief Executive of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum-Akwaboah, has urged the government to make more investments in the private sector.

This, he explained was because the sector employed more people compared to the other sectors.

“Our structure has remained the same very import-dependent – exports of primary product, export of cocoa, gold and the rest, small volumes of export of nontraditional products. Those are the areas that we need to critically look at,” he added.

His remark came in response to a question from host of AM Show, on Joynews about how Ghana’s decision to seek IMF assistance will affect the private sector and industries.

According to him, “there are always two sides of the coin – on one hand, you need the IMF intervention to bring stability, credibility and confidence such that the cedi will not be depreciating which is positive to the country.”

He added that “on the other hand, you must have a certain discipline. I think that is what IMF brings to bear.”

“You want to go to IMF and seek your intervention, control your expenditure and once you control your expenditure, you control the size of people you employ, the wage level and all that … but I think that if you really want to have the best benefit out of the situation you need stability but how you channel, how you negotiate for the IMF intervention is critical… what do you do to ensure that the intervention that is coming is going to support your productive sector because we know government sector alone cannot create all the jobs we need in this country,” he said.

Mr Twum-Akwaboah insisted that sections of the private sector such as; agriculture and industries have to be funded to aid the government sector.

According to him, when this was done, it would “solve this fundamental problem” we have in the country thus, unemployment.

“In this case, if you do so and you do it very well, employment will not become a major issue because private sector is the one employing a lot more people,” he said.

His call comes after President Akufo-Addo last Friday directed Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to begin formal negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for an economic programme.

A letter signed by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, and dated July 1, 2022 indicated that there had already been a conversation between the IMF boss, Kristalina Georgieva and President Akufo-Addo conveying government’s decision to engage the Fund.

“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorised the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund to support an economic programme,” the letter stated.

Meanwhile, a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to arrive in Ghana today to begin negotiations with the government on the economic support it is seeking.

The IMF officials – comprising senior officers from the Fund and local staff – will meet officials of the Finance Ministry, the Economic Management Team and the Presidency during their stay, according to reports.

Among other reasons, their visit to the country would largely involve deliberations on the modalities for a package to support Ghana’s ailing economy.

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