The Chief Executive Officer of the MacDan Group of Companies Daniel Mckorley, has commended government for initiating a GH¢100 billion recovery programme to revitalise and grow the Ghanaian economy following the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in the country.
According to him, the programme, dubbed ‘Ghana CARES, Obaatan Pa’, was the surest way to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on small and large businesses and spur government’s industrialisation agenda.
Speaking to Ghanaian Times in an interview in Accra yesterday, Mr Mckorley explained that the programme would further enable Ghana to reduce its import bill and drive consumption of locally manufactured goods and services.
The programme, he noted, would create a welcoming environment for businesses to expand and provide employment opportunities to the country’s teeming youths, thereby supporting efforts to curb unemployment.
He, however, cautioned beneficiaries against misuse of the funds saying that “how funds from the recovery programme are used will determine future support from government to businesses in the wake of crisis”.
Businesses, he said, would make a turnaround for the better post-COVID-19 if they were positioned to take advantage of innovation and creativity in the production of goods and services.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced in Parliament during the mid-year budget review on July 23 of government’s intention to launch a GH¢100 billion programme aimed at recovering Ghana’s economy from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have brainstormed over the crisis with the view of using the challenges it presents rather as an opportunity to transform Ghana and for all Ghanaians. I am happy to announce that in the coming weeks the President will launch a GH¢100 billion development programme. An ambitious and unprecedented three and half years programme called: Ghana CARES, “Obaatan Pa” which will anchor the comprehensive transformation of our society,” he stated.
The minister explained that the initiative was a well-crafted programme which would protect and secure jobs for thousands of Ghanaians amid the COVID-19 pandemic and Ghana recovers from the pandemic and thrive economically.
He said the programme, sequenced in two phases; a Stabilisation Phase that runs from July to the end of the year (2020); and a medium-term Revitalisation Phase, was a demonstration of government’s desire to drive local businesses and spur realisation of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
He noted that the stabilisation phase of CARES would ensure food security, protect businesses and worker incomes, strengthen the health system, attract private investments and support Ghanaian businesses.
He disclosed that government would establish a national unemployment insurance scheme to provide temporary income support to workers that were laid off and also provide them access to re-training to help them take advantage of employment opportunities in new fields.
A number of legislations including bills on tax exemptions, public-private partnerships (PPPs), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), development finance institutions, Home Ownership Financing and Enterprise Ghana were in the pipeline to provide the framework to raise the funds and attract the investments necessary for the revitalisation, transformation and strengthen support to small businesses.
BY TIMES REPORTER