President John Mahama has said anybody who claims Ghana’s economy is in crisis is doing so for political propaganda.
Mr. Mahama told Sunrise FM in the Eastern Region on Thursday April 14, in an interview that his administration has managed to stabilise the economy and “we are returning to a period of growth”.
“…If you look at the World Bank report that appeared yesterday, it named Ghana as one of the countries with very high expectations of growth and it said that the prospects of the Ghanaian economy are high, that investor confidence has risen, and that Ghana is entering a new era of prosperity and blossom, and, so,…it shows that Ghana has very good prospects going forward,” Mr Mahama said.
The President’s comments come a day after Nana Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of Ghana’s biggest opposition party, NPP, said Ghana’s economy was in crisis and tattered.
Mr Mahama, however, said there was enough evidence to the contrary. According to him, his administration has reduced the Deficit-to-GDP ratio to below 7.2% a decimal notch lower than the projected 7.3%, from the 12% he inherited in 2012.
This year, Mr Mahama said, “we are going to bring it down to 5.3%, then it means that inflation will gradually come down; we are looking to bring inflation back down to a single digit, then once inflation is coming down, then interest rates will gradually follow, and, so, the prospects look very good and I am very bullish about the Ghanaian economy.”
“If you take the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) [report], they said 2017 and onward is going to be a period of prosperity for Ghana and that is because of the foundation that we have laid, it’s because of the work that we have done, we’ve eliminated a lot of the deficits that were created by huge subsidies on utility tariffs, we eliminated a lot of the subsidies that created huge deficits on the cost of petroleum products, today as I speak, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is running, and producing petroleum products for Ghana, we have enough stock of LPG, our tanks and strategic reserves for petroleum products are all full, and, so, we have ships standing offshore Ghana with petroleum products, but there is no space to offload those products, and, so, we’ve done a good job in stabilising various sectors of the economy.
“Today we are supplying diesel and petrol to Burkina Faso and Mali from our Bolga Depot. Our Bolga Depot was shut down for so many years, the pipeline from Buipe to Bolga was not operational, today we are pumping fuel from Buipe to Bolga and we are loading 40 trucks a day to Burkina Faso and Mali, I mean if that is not economic progress, I don’t know what else anybody will call economic progress, yes we’ve been through a period of challenges and we’ve had to make sacrifices as citizens but I believe that in everyone’s life, there are times when you have to make sacrifices in order that things get better for the future, we are working to ensure that we create a better future for not only our citizens of today but for our citizens of tomorrow. And I believe we are doing a good job at it.
The economy is more resilient today than it was in the past, it’s not an economy in crisis, absolutely not, if you see an economy in crisis you’d know that it is an economy in crisis. This economy is not in crisis and it is growing. The African average growth rate predicted by the world bank and IMF is 3 per cent and for Ghana they predict 3.3 per cent, I’m more bullish, I believe that Ghana will grow closer to 4 per cent, maybe between 3.8 and 4 per cent, and we predict that in 2017, Ghana’s economy is going to grow by about 6 per cent, and, so, this country is doing well, we have resolved the power crisis, we’ve been able to match demand to supply and so the electricity crisis that hit us is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Today the FPSO is shut down but we’ve made contingency arrangements and we are firing most of the power plants using crude oil and providing enough electricity for our people because we’ve done the structural changes that would ensure that the utilities can continue to provide us with power.
“We have signed the agreement with ENI, which is a $7.5 billion investment agreement, the single largest investment ever made in Ghana probable after the Akosombo Dam and that is going to provide sufficient 1.5 how many million cubic feet of gas to produce power, the regional electricity market for West Africa is going to become operational at the end of this year, it means that if Ghana is able to produce more power and we have excess, we can put it on the regional electricity market and supply to Burkina Faso and to Mali and to others who do not have enough power.
“And, so, we are on the right track. Investor confidence is high. The last Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Investor Confidence Index shows that there is high confidence in the prospects of the Ghanaian economy, and, so, we are doing something right, and if anybody says that this economy is in crisis then it’s mainly for political propaganda purposes,” Mr Mahama noted.