139 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Use of ThirdParty Data: Mr. Speaker, the National
Identification Scheme when fully deployed, will provide
government with a database to help with revenue
administration. But even before that, and to add to the
benefits from the NIA, we will in 2019 make use of third
party data sitting in various databases in both private and
public sector for tax administration purposes. The DVLA,
the Lands Registry, the Courts, the Financial Institutions,
the Law Enforcement Agencies, SSNIT, to mention a few,
are repositories of useful tax data. We will use these
databases to rope more persons into the tax net and tax
them accordingly.
232. Local Government Revenues and Finances: Mr. Speaker,
in 2019, the central Government will partner MMDAs to enhance
revenues mobilised at the local Government level. This
partnership will be in the following areas:
  • 140
    140 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    ● property registration, and property data management;
    ● the use of a simplified inexpensive tool for property valuation;
    ● the setting up of a system for the generation and distribution of
    bills; and
    ● the setting up of a system for the efficient collection of property
    rates and other rates.
    233. In additions, the Ministry of Finance will strengthen its oversight
    over public revenue management in our MMDAs. An electronic
    payment platform will be put in place to automate the collection
    and administration of rates in all local government entities and
    to give central government a comprehensive view of the
    finances of MMDAs.
    234. Internally Generated Funds of MDAs: Mr Speaker,
    improved governance of internally generated funds of
    ministries, departments, agencies and all statutory and
    constitutional bodies is still top of government priority. As
  • 141
    141 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    provided for in the new Fees and Charges Bill that will be placed
    before Parliament before close of the year, the fees and charges
    of all MDAs and regulators will come under greater scrutiny of
    Central Government. At the moment, some MDAs receive their
    fees and charges through commercial banks that lodge these
    revenues in full at the BoG. The BoG then transfers the
    appropriate amounts to the relevant MDA. In 2019, government
    will expand this arrangement to all fees and charges on behalf
    of the MDAs and regulators.
    235. Government’s digitisation and Cashless initiative continues. All
    Government Entities will be able to receive electronic payments
    by the end of Q2 next year. This is a pre cursor to all
    Government Entities making payments electronically on the
    journey to the Government going cashless. This will greatly
    increase transparency and efficiency of cashflows to and from
    142 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    Government and better aid cash management of all
    Government Entities.
    236. Deployment of Nation Builder’s Corps (NABCO): Mr.
    Speaker, the implementation of many of the interventions
    mentioned above will require more energetic hands. As part of
    our strategy to enhance revenue mobilisation, GRA has been
    assigned ten thousand officers from the NABCO who will be
    deployed to support the implementation of these measures and
    strategies. In particular, they will be helpful in identifying and
    registering potential taxpayers, collection of property rates, and
    follow up on debtors. The young men and women of NABCO will
    in the process become a pool of officers from whom government
    could recruit substantive officers to support revenue
    mobilisation.
    237. Mr. Speaker, the numbers on tax exemptions in Ghana’s
    economy are disturbing. In the last eight (8) years, tax
    143 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    exemptions (import duty, import VAT, import NHIL and
    domestic VAT) in the economy have grown from GH¢391.90
    million (0.9% of GDP) in 2010 to GH¢5,269.99 million (2.6% of
    GDP) in 2017.
    238. It is important to indicate that these figures do not include
    exemptions from the payment of corporate and individual
    income taxes, concessions on tax rates, petroleum tax reliefs,
    customs tax exemptions enjoyed by diplomatic missions, and
    processing charge exemptions at the ports.
    239. Over the same period, about six different studies have been
    conducted into Ghana’s tax exemptions regime by the Revenue
    Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance, International Monetary
    Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Cooperation &
    Development (OECD), GIZ and the World Bank. All these studies
    have concluded that, (1) the growth in Ghana’s tax exemptions
    144 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    and reliefs is unsustainable, and (2) the benefits Ghana’s
    economy gets from these exemptions and reliefs are doubtful.
    240. Worse still, Mr Speaker, tax exemptions in Ghana have
    invariably provided the opportunity for abuse. But even without
    the irregularities, the exemptions in themselves, deny the
    country of much needed revenue, resulting in low revenue
    collection and reporting. These cannot be allowed to continue,
    which is why we have committed to reform the tax exemptions
    regime. The draft policy has been completed and will be
    presented to Parliament during 2019 to be passed into law.
    241. Mr. Speaker, in 2019 in accordance with the Earmarked Funds
    Capping and Realignment Act, 2017 (Act 947), the Ministry of
    Finance will review all our earmarked funds and update them to
    bring them in line with our current economic realities and
    priorities.
    145 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    Expenditure Management Programme
    242. Mr. Speaker, extensive stakeholder consultations on the draft
    regulations for the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, (Act
    921) (PFMA) are underway. The regulations will include explicit
    provisions for numerical fiscal rules and it is expected that the
    regulations will be passed in 2019.
    243. Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Integrated Financial Management
    Information System (GIFMIS) utilisation expansion programme
    was pursued in earnest this year. The GIFMIS financial module
    was expanded to cover four Statutory Fund Agencies and has
    also been deployed to 216 MMDAs. The budget module
    (Hyperion) has also been coded to track the SDGs.
    244. To improve overall efficiency in payroll management,
    Government has initiated procurement processes to outsource
    payroll management. Pilot implementation will begin with one
    MDA in 2019.
    146 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    245. Mr. Speaker, to strengthen cash and treasury management,
    Government is in the process of designing a cash management
    solution that will provide an automated cash flow forecasting
    model to assist MDAs/MMDAs in forecasting their cash
    requirements and broaden Government’s utilisation of the
    Treasury Single Account (TSA).
    Protecting the Public Purse
    246. Mr. Speaker, a key priority of H.E. the President is to protect the
    public purse by, among others, enforcing resolute efficiency in
    expenditure of public resources. To this end, Government has
    recently released guidelines regulating Board allowances for
    State Enterprises and Agencies. The guidelines eliminate
    monthly allowances for Board members and provides caps on
    sitting allowances.
    247. Mr. Speaker, Government under the leadership of the Office of
    the Vice-President and Office of the Senior Minister, and in
    147 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    consultation with the relevant professional institutions, has
    produced standardised designs and costs of various public
    infrastructure projects in Health, (such as CHPS, Polyclinics,
    District Hospitals and Regional Hospitals); Education (school
    classrooms, dormitories, and science laboratories); as well as in
    Roads. The standardised designs and costs will guide
    procurement of contractors for the delivery of these categories
    of infrastructure in order to ensure value for money.
    248. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, in 2019 the Ministry of Finance will
    operationalise an Efficiency and Innovation Unit to lead an
    effort in Government to introduce efficiencies and control costs
    in important cost drivers, including: standardisation and
    centralisation of vehicle and IT procurement, travel
    expenditure, and allowances to public officials.
    249. Mr. Speaker, our nation has invested huge amounts of money
    in State-Owned Enterprises, but we have not been reaping
    148 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    benefits commensurate with our investment, due mainly to
    inefficiencies and weak governance in the sector. To frontally
    turn around this situation, Government after a comprehensive
    study of the sector will soon present to this august House, a
    draft bill to address the problems in sector.
    Fighting Corruption
    Office of the Special Prosecutor
    250. Mr. Speaker, in line with Government’s promise to protect the
    public purse, His Excellency the President remains committed to
    the fight against corruption. The Special Prosecutor’s Office
    which is established under the Office of the Special Prosecutor
    Act 2017 (Act 959) is one of the highest priorities of
    government. In this budget, the Special Prosecutor’s Office has
    been allocated an amount of GH¢180 million from GoG with a
    commitment to provide additional resources during the course
    149 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    of 2019 to enable the Special Prosecutor’s Office to carry out its
    mandate.
    251. Mr. Speaker, as I noted in the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review
    Statement to this august House, there is the need to restructure
    and strengthen the Internal Audit Function in the public sector
    to play its expected role in ensuring effective risk management,
    control and improvements in governance processes in the public
    sector.
    252. The Ministry of Finance is currently supporting the Internal Audit
    Agency to conduct extensive stakeholder consultations as part
    of the key processes that will lead to restructuring the Internal
    Audit Agency. This will help to align the activities of Internal
    Auditing to national objectives.
    Capping the Ghana Stabilisation Fund
    253. Mr. Speaker, Government seeks the approval of Parliament to
    maintain the cap on the Ghana Stabilisation Fund at US$300
    150 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    million, in line with Section 23(3) of the PRMA, to continue with
    the liability management strategy.
    Securitisation of GETFUND’s Receivables
    254. Mr. Speaker, Cabinet has given no-objection for GETFUND to
    secure up to US$1.5 billion long-term financing, and same has
    been laid before Parliament. The amount will be used for critical
    education infrastructure, on the back of a portion of VAT
    receivables as prescribed in Act 581 and will be issued in three
    (3) tranches of US$500.00million.
    2019 Sovereign Bond Issuance
    255. Mr. Speaker, Government is committed to its objective to
    borrow at “least cost” and at the minimum prudent level of risk.
    Consistent with this, Government intends to issue sovereign
    bonds of up to US$3 billion, to be used to finance critical
    infrastructure projects and for liability management
    151 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    Government will explore the possibility of issuing one or a
    combination of the following bonds based on market conditions:
    Eurobond, and Green bond.
    Century Bond
    256. Mr. Speaker, Government announced its intention to issue
    longer dated sovereign bonds this year as part of our bilateral
    engagement with other countries. Our phase of massive
    economic transformation requires a more ambitious financing
    arrangement, and the capacity to retire about half of the
    country’s existing debt which were issued during a high interest
    rate environment during the previous administration.
    257. The decision to raise these ultra-long-term bonds is not
    intended to derail our debts sustainability path, but rather to
    enhance it. If we really want to uplift ourselves out of this hand-
    to-mouth existence and put our country Ghana on a firm
    trajectory of growth and prosperity, we will need to source long
    152 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    term affordable financing to invest in strategic infrastructure
    over the medium to long-term.
    258. We shall issue sovereign bonds of longer tenor either as green
    bonds or Eurobonds on the international capital markets and
    also structure a Sovereign Century Fund for our bilateral
    investor partners.
    259. The Sovereign Century Fund shall engage on a bilateral basis to
    raise long term concessional financing to underwrite our other
    commercial infrastructure needs through GIIF, GIADEC, PPP
    projects and other entities as well as liability management.
    260. We inherited over GH¢120 billion of debt at very high interest
    rates. Even though we have brought down interest rates
    considerably we are still saddled with a sizeable amount of
    expensive debt. As such, in 2019, we will spend over GH¢16
    billion of our revenue (over 26.6%) on interest payments. This
    amount can be considerably reduced if we refinance our debt at
    153 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    much lower interest rates. A ten percent reduction in the
    interest rates translates into over GH¢1.6 billion in savings;
    almost enough to pay for Free SHS in 2019.
    261. Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Century bond program will help provide
    us with the wherewithal to refinance these expensive liabilities.
    It is an important bulwark for Ghana’s post IMF status; it
    indicates a country with a long-term plan, a country that can
    program its infrastructure needs, a country that can provision
    for adequate foreign exchange reserves.
    SOCIAL INTERVENTION POLICIES
    262. Mr. Speaker, our focus in Government over the last 22 months
    has not just been restoration of macroeconomic stability. We
    have implemented a number of flagship policies as well as social
    intervention policies that have reduced the suffering as well as
    enhance the aspirations and opportunities of ordinary
    Ghanaians.
    154 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    263. The Akufo-Addo Government has eased the burden of hundreds
    of thousands of Ghanaians and invested in the future of our
    children with the introduction of the Free Senior High School
    program. For the first time in our history, the whole of Ghana is
    enjoying Free SHS. Under free SHS, students are entitled to;
    Free Meals (Both boarding and day)
    Free boarding accommodation
    Free textbooks
    264. Mr. Speaker, the Free SHS in 2017 provided over 90,000
    additional teenagers an opportunity to get senior high school
    education and improve their opportunities for work in the
    future.
    265. Mr. Speaker, in 2018, as a result of the innovative double track
    system, we have been able to accommodate 181,000 more
    students who otherwise could not have access to secondary
    education.
    155 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    266. Mr. Speaker, the introduction of free SHS has also provided
    immediate cash benefits to the parents:
    For a parent with a boarding SHS student, you save
    GH¢2,015.22
    For a parent with a boarding TVET student you save GH¢
    2,115.22
    And over a 3-year period a parent with a boarding SHS student
    would have saved nearly GH¢ 6,045. (or about 60 million old
    Cedis). The savings is about 120 million old Cedis if you have 2
    children going through the free SHS.
    267. Mr. Speaker, we increased the school feeding programme from
    1.6 million children to 2.1 million children, and also increased
    the amount spent on each child by 25 percent.
    268. Mr. Speaker, in the area of LEAP, we have added more than
    150,000 households to the programme thereby improving their
    livelihoods.
  • 156
    156 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    269. Mr. Speaker, Furthermore;
    We have increased the share of the DACF to persons with
    disabilities from 2 percent to 3 percent
    We have more than doubled the Capitation Grant (From
    GH¢4.5 to GH¢10.0)
    We have Restored Teacher Training Allowances
    We have Restored Nursing Training Allowances
    We have reduced Electricity tariff – 17.5 percent for
    households and 30 percent for businesses
    We have cleared the GHC 1.2 billion arrears inherited under
    the NHIS and the NHIS is working again.
    We have provided food crop farmers with subsidised (50
    percent subsidy) fertiliser under the planting for food and jobs
    program. This has resulted in increased output and lower food
    prices.
  • 157
    157 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    We have provided jobs to 100,000 graduates under the Nation
    Builders Corps (NABCO) across every constituency in Ghana
    Expanding Social Security Coverage to the Informal
    Sector
    270. Mr. Speaker, retirement income security is a right of every
    Ghanaian and not only formal sector workers. His Excellency,
    the President has demonstrated his commitment to expanding
    social security to cover the informal sector by charging the
    Board of SSNIT to ensure the inclusion of informal sector
    workers. I am pleased to announce Mr. Speaker that SSNIT is
    working with Government to develop a policy framework to
    provide informal sector workers with a voluntary fully funded
    personal pensions scheme to be launched in 2019.
    271. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask one question. Can anyone recall
    the social intervention policies that the social democratic NDC
  • 158
    158 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    introduced in its last eight years in government to mitigate the
    hardships of Ghanaians?”
    272. Mr. Speaker, the evidence shows that when it comes to social
    policies to protect the poor and vulnerable in Ghana the
    Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has indeed a
    remarkable record.
    159 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    SECTION SIX: CONCLUSION
    Marching Boldly Towards Ghana Beyond Aid
    273. Mr. Speaker, with December, 2018 as the last test date, we are
    on track to successfully complete and exit the IMF ECF
    programme. We have clearly demonstrated our competence in
    managing Ghana’s economy in the past two years that we have
    been in Government. We will remain steadfast in this resolve.
    To this end we are putting in place a number of legal and
    institutional measures to ensure we do not revert to the bad
    days of macroeconomic mismanagement.
    274. Mr. Speaker, one of the key measures we are institutionalising
    is the Social Partnership among Organised Labour, Ghana
    Employers Association, and Government which we believe will
    provide avenue for the partners to deliberate on significant
    development matters and providing relevant solutions.
    160 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    275. Further, the 6 Strategic Pillars in the 2019 budget put us in a
    position to advance boldly towards Ghana Beyond Aid. In this
    budget we are:
    making an unprecedented push in infrastructural expansion;
    modernising agriculture, increasing production, and reducing
    our dependence on imports for food;
    forging ahead with a bold and comprehensive industrialization
    plan that adds value to our agriculture and natural resources,
    and leverages our rising population of educated youth;
    strengthening our domestic revenue mobilization and taking
    strong measures to enforce efficiency in public expenditures and
    protect the public purse; and
    building on and strengthening our social interventions in order
    to ensure that no one is left behind as we transform our
    economy and march boldly to a Ghana Beyond Aid.
    161 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    276. Mr. Speaker, the future is indeed very bright as we embark on
    big ticket projects and programmes as part of our resolve to
    transform the economy and better the lives of Ghanaians. Mr
    Speaker:
    o we are implementing the Sinohydro project which will provide
    additional US$2bn in road, rail, and other infrastructure;
    o the Aker oil Field will start producing in 2021 and will
    eventually add about 100,000 barrels of oil per day to Ghana’s
    crude oil production. In addition, ExxonMobil is coming on
    board soon to explore and produce crude oil in the Deep Water
    Cape Three Points;
    o the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation
    (GIADEC) will be established to develop an integrated
    aluminium industry;
  • 162 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    o Ghana is attracting international car manufacturing giants such
    as Nissan, Volkswagen, SinoTruk to set up auto assembly
    plants to produce vehicles.
    277. Mr. Speaker, as you know, H.E. the President constituted a
    Committee to draw up a Ghana Beyond Aid Charter. The
    Committee comprises representatives from a wide cross-section
    of Ghanaians, including Government, organised labour, the
    private sector and employers, and the youth. Work on the
    Charter and on the detail contours of the Ghana Beyond Aid
    agenda is well advanced, and the Committee will present its
    report to the President before the end of the year. Following
    that there will be consultations with Ghanaians before revising
    the Committee’s work for eventual submission to Parliament for
    debate.
  • 163 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    278. Mr. Speaker in March 2017, I presented the first budget of a
    President who had re-energised the nation and inspired hope
    in:
    The millions of Ghanaians who went to the polls and voted him
    into power;
    Youthful Ghanaians who believed that their lives would be
    turned around;
    Expectant Parents who believed that their burdens will be
    eased;
    Hundreds of children who believed and hoped that they will
    have opportunity to improve their lives through education;
    University graduates who believed that they might have
    opportunity to wake up in the morning, dress up and show up
    for work;
  • 164 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    Businesses who believed that interest rates would come down
    so that they can borrow and expand their businesses and
    employ more people;
    Dying businesses that required some stimulus to live again like
    the bones in Ezekiel;
    Ghanaians who had sat in darkness and wanting to see light;
    Our Development partners who believed that they can revitalise
    their partnership with us; and
    The international investor community and also in the IMF,
    whose programme with Ghana had derailed.
    279. Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that those who believed,
    have seen their dreams and aspirations come to fruition:
    100,000 trained graduates who have been home for years,
    despondent without hope, now have the opportunity to
    contribute to our national development;
    165 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    271,000, 16 18-year olds who would have been thrown onto
    the streets but for free SHS are now seated in classrooms
    getting an education and gaining training to give them a better
    future;
    And as the Bible says, for those who sat in darkness, they have
    seen a great light. This is in spite of the deep challenge and the
    grievous harm that has been done through questionable take or
    pay contracts, for which we will have to pay some $600 million
    annually whether we switch on the light or not. But we have
    resolved to do so;
    Nurses and teachers who believed that the government will
    come to their aid, we have met their aspirations and hope; and
    Over 1.5 million depositors who but for the timely intervention
    of Government would have lost their businesses and their life
    savings and deposits of over GH¢ 9 million.
  • 166 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    280. Ghana’s international profile is now on the rise; in the last year,
    the President has hosted several Heads of State and
    Governments, as well as high profile international dignitaries.
    Global Leaders and investors are lining up now to pay serious
    attention to Ghana.
    281. Mr. Speaker, we are proud of what we have accomplished in 22
    months and are certain and resolved to deliver a future that
    meets the hopes and aspirations of our people through this
    budget and into the medium term.
    282. Mr. Speaker, this story of hope continues. This budget meets
    the expectations of Ghanaians for better infrastructure and
    housing, increased economic activity through unprecedented
    investment in industrialization and agriculture, expanding job
    opportunities for entrepreneurs, and rising incomes.
    283. In the next 26 months, we are determined to address:
    167 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    The hope of farmers whose food crops are getting rotten
    through expanded storage facilities; improved marketing and
    the intervention of the Ghana Commodity Exchange;
    The challenges faced by communities that lack access to potable
    water and continue to drink water from streams;
    The lack of ambulances for our pregnant mothers and sick
    relatives;
    Transportation challenges through better roads and rail
    networks;
    The challenges faced by our market women who have to sell
    their wares on the dusty ground and in the scorching sun by
    providing improved markets and stalls;
    The difficulties faced by fisher folk by providing them with
    landing beaches, cold storage facilities and thereby improving
    their incomes;
    168 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    Meeting the spiritual needs of our people with the promotion of
    the Ghana National Cathedral.
    284. Through this budget, we will frontally address the sanitation
    challenges faced by many of our towns and cities.
    285. In this 2019 budget we have chosen to sacrifice and build for
    the future; we have chosen to invest in people; we have chosen
    to boldly tackle the infrastructural needs of the people with a $2
    billion facility next year. We have chosen to make our rich oil
    resources more accessible to credible investors through
    competitive bidding and we aim to hit, God willing, a million
    barrels of crude oil production within a matter of a decade. It
    may sound ambitious, but we are confident in the plan that we
    have. We know that Ghana’s rich bauxite resources have the
    potential to deliver over $500 billion in revenue and create tens
    of thousands of jobs along the value chain, if we stick to the
    President’s vision and commitment to build an integrated
  • 169 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    aluminium industry, as spelt out in the law. We know that the
    Ghana industrialisation project is ready for that long-awaited big
    take-off. It is not by sheer accident that the big multinationals
    in the automobile industry are signing up to set up
    manufacturing hubs in Ghana. It is not by accident that we were
    the fastest growing economy in the world last year and still
    growing strong.
    286. We have chosen 2019 as the year to begin some landmark
    redevelopment projects that will stamp Accra’s growing
    reputation as the main city for business and holiday travellers
    in our region and beyond. Three of these major multi-billion cedi
    redevelopment projects are namely the Marine Drive, Trade Fair
    Redevelopment and the Energy City. Ghana, Mr Speaker, is
    working again and will work for the benefit of the people and to
    the Glory` of God.
    170 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    287. We have chosen to be bold in devising a budget that deals with
    the past; delivers opportunity in the present, while investing
    responsibly into the future. We will not heed the voices
    encouraging us to eat the seeds that need to be harvested for
    the future. We shall not be discouraged by the voices that seek
    to play down the gains that we constantly continue to make.
    We pledge not to repeat the mistakes of the past; so long as
    the majority of Ghanaians continue to keep faith with our
    leadership.
    288. The 2019 National Budget addresses the past. Exiting the IMF
    programme is a great achievement towards fiscal sovereignty
    but not from eternal fiscal discipline; expenditures on SHS is
    expensive but a responsible investment that provides
    incalculable future returns on our greatest asset – our children
    – the next generation of Ghanaians who will inherit the future
    that we create today. In this budget, we have invested in
    171 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    MASLOC so that small businesses up and down the country can
    have additional cheaper access to credit. We were also
    challenged that in looking at the past and into the future we
    could not ignore the urgency of today—the development and
    delivery of electricity, inputs for agricultural expansion, health
    care and better roads and infrastructure. 2019 is a budget that
    better enables us to balance the decisions of the past and the
    needs of today with the pillars and foundation needed to build
    a better tomorrow.
    289. We also recognize that building national prosperity is not the
    exclusive domain of Government. If, we are to win in pushing
    Ghana Beyond Aid then every single one of us must own it; be
    citizens in developing our nation and not just mere spectators
    with strong opinions only as our contribution. I thank all the
    productive communities of Ghana and all Ghanaians for the epic
    sacrifices and contributions you make every day. I particularly
  • 172 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
    thank the community of faith whose intercession and prayers
    for this nation are unceasing. The Government recognizes and
    appreciates the role you play in fulfilling the biblical mandate in
    Matthew 25 to “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of
    the sick and visit the prisoner.” Government’s partnership with
    you to lift the vulnerable and needy is stead-fast and
    immovable.
    290. I believe, that with faith as our shield and God-loving Ghanaians
    as partners, the promise of God in Genesis 12:2-3 will also be
    ours: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make
    your name [Ghana] great… And in you all the families of the
    (earth) [Ghana] shall be blessed”
    291. Mr. Speaker, in the Spirit of the season, I declare that by this
    budget, we bring Glad Tidings of Great Joy, of Hope, Relief and
    a Renewed strength. Indeed, Emmanuel God is with us!!!
    292. God Bless us all and our dear country, Ghana!

Leave a Reply