We’ve reduced the suffering of Ghanaians – Ofori-Atta

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta says the Akufo-Addo government has since 2017 helped to reduce the suffering of Ghanaians.

“We promised to reduce the suffering of Ghanaians when we came into office, and we did just that when we came into office,” he said.

The Minister said this during the presentation of the 2022 budget statement.

He said the government has introduced many programs and undertaken several activities that have led to economic prosperity and eased the burden of Ghanaians.

Listing some 28 developments he said the government has ensured, Ken Ofori-Atta said the Akufo-Addo government has;

i. Reduced electricity tariffs cumulatively by 10.9%, compared to a cumulative increase of 264% under the NDC;

ii. Provided free water for households for April, May, and June of 2020.

iii. Doubled the Capitation Grant (From GH¢4.5 to GH¢10);

iv. Established the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) of 100,000 graduates to build the job skills of our graduates to be absorbed into the workforce;

v. Created jobs and stopped the freeze on recruitment in the public sector; Over 295,000 people recruited;

vi. Abolished fees for postgraduate medical training in Ghana;

vii. Increased the share of the DACF to persons with disabilities by 50%;

viii. Exempted Kayayei from market tolls;

ix. Ensured the implementation of our pledge of employing 50% of the persons
who manage the country’s toll booths from amongst Persons with Disabilities;

x. Expanded the LEAP by 150,000 beneficiaries;

xi. Expanded School Feeding from 1.6 million children to 2.1 million children, and also increased the amount spent on each child by 25 percent;

i. Restored Teacher Training Allowances;

ii. Restored Nursing Training Allowances;

iii. Abolished the three month-pay policy for teachers;

iv. Absorbing the cost of BECE and WASSCE exam registrations;

v. Abolished or reduced 15 taxes including excise duty on petroleum, VAT on financial services, real estate, domestic airline tickets, etc;

vi. Made it easier to apply for a passport;

vii. Made it easier to apply for a driver’s license;

viii. Made it easier and quicker to apply for and obtain pensions in ten days;

ix. Made it easier to buy electricity from your mobile phone;

x. Made it easier to apply for scholarships;

xi. Made it easier to send and receive money through mobile money interoperability;

xii. Made it easier to open a traditional bank account using your Ghanacard;

xiii. No guarantor is now required to obtain student loans.

xiv. Reduced corruption associated with obtaining public services by digitization of service delivery;

xv. Saved the NHIS from collapse by reducing arrears to service providers;

xvi. Provided GHC600 million COVID fund for small businesses;

xvii. Made it easier for the renewal of NHIS membership through mobile phones;

xviii. Made it easier to register a business;

xix. Made it easier to clear goods from the port through the paperless process;

xx. Made it easier to apply for a construction permit;

xxi. We have reduced inflation;

xxii. We have reduced bank lending rates;

xxiii. We have reduced the depreciation of the cedi;

xxiv. Allowance of security personnel at UN Peacekeeping missions increased from $31to $35;

xxv. We have spent GHC21 billion to save the deposits of 4.6 million depositors

xxvi. We have implemented free TVET; Mr. Speaker, let us remember what we have achieved with 2 Fish and 5 Loaves even in these 5 years and strive boldly and confidently to build our Entrepreneurial Nation. It is remarkable what we have done with our debt.

xxvii. We have implemented the free senior high school initiative;

The Minister said while there are still some challenges, the government is determined to address them in the next three years.

He said the government’s social intervention policies are still unparalleled and cannot be compared to any government in the 4th republic.

“Speaker, while we have not eliminated suffering, we have done more in terms of social interventions than any other government since 1992, and certainly more in this regard than the NDC government. We will therefore continue to work towards mitigating the burdens imposed by the global impact of COVID-19 on Ghanaians as we also commit to tackling the social ills of expenditure control, corruption, recurring leakages, and low productivity.”

“H.E. the President is resolute that in the next 3 years he will establish a stronger and more stable economy, an entrepreneurial nation that empowers young people to be bold, innovative, proactive, and dynamic to contribute to the transformation of our country,” he added.

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