‘Gov’t alone can’t provide Ghana’s infrastructure needs’

Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur says government can no longer be relied on to provide for the country’s total infrastructure needs.

The financial constraints confronting the public sector make the traditional reliance on government for infrastructure impracticable and unrealistic, he said.

The vice-president said this when he addressed business leaders at the fourth Ghana Economic Forum organized by the Business & Financial Times newspaper in collaboration with Joy FM.

The forum is designed to create a platform to diagnose the country’s economic challenges and proffer solutions to them.

Mr. Amissah Arthur said, “In Ghana there has been a longstanding tradition that the provision of public infrastructure is the responsibility of the central government, but we have to modify our thinking because given the extent of our budget deficit, we can no longer expect the government to undertake solely, through budget allocations, the provision of public infrastructure.”

He said about $1.5 billion is needed annually for 10 years to plug the country’s infrastructure deficit.

This is not money the government can raise, making public-private partnership (PPP) the only viable option available, he argued.

The policy of encouraging PPP, the Vice-President said, is the best chance of leveraging “resources and expertise to close the funding gap.”

“If we do that, we will deliver efficient public infrastructure which will serve to catalyse economic growth,” he stressed.

He said it is the policy of government to encourage private companies to get actively involved in the provision of public infrastructure.

He said the private sector must move from talking to acting; “you need the government in building a strong infrastructure base to facilitate economic development and collectively take ownership of this economy.”

Source : myjoyonline.com