President Akufo-Addo presenting Overall Best Industrial Company of the year award to Dr Oteng-Gyasi of Tropical Cables and Conductors Limited
President Akufo-Addo has drop a hint of what Ghanaians should expect in the 2018 budget that would be read on Wednesday by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
Speaking at the 6th Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) ‘Ghana Industry and Quality’ awards over the weekend, he mentioned that “government is moving to set in motion the process for the review of electricity tariffs, and in the budget to be read by the brilliant Minister Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, 15th November, I’m sure you will hear some good news in this regard.”
The President revealed that the relative normalization of the power situation in the country and implementation of what he termed ‘business friendly policies’ have led to a steady growth in the micro-economy, decline in inflation and interest rate.
“Like myself, I’m glad that businesses are no longer burdened by the erratic power supply that wrecked our nation in recent years, ‘Dumsor, thank God, appears now to be a thing of the unlamented past,” he said.
He commended the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agarko for ending the power crisis so far.
“This is part of the reason industry for the first quarter of 2017 recorded an impressive growth rate of 11.5 percent, the highest sectoral growth in the economy and industry is going to be given all the assistance we can muster.”
Apart from that, he said “the policies we have put in place to shift the focus of our economy from taxation to production are beginning to work.”
“Indeed, our efforts at restoring business confidence are beginning to yield positive results as confirmed by the AGI Business Barometer, showing a consistent rise in business confidence throughout this year,” he declared.
Notwithstanding the challenges, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “industry still reels from the global challenges from the rapidly emerging foreign markets which manufacture at lower cost than we do and hence makes it difficult to compete.”
He reiterated government’s commitment to developing and implementing a comprehensive, project-based export diversification action plan hinged on the national export strategy as indicated in the NPPs 2016 manifesto.
“To the extent that export guarantees foreign exchange and a stable currency, the greatest aspirations any of us could hope for is an investment in the vision of Ghana becoming an export oriented economy driven by industry,” he emphasized.
The President disclosed that “192 business plans have been approved for a takeoff of the One-District One-Factory’ initiative, representing 41 percent of the 462 proposals submitted to government.”
This is being done with the support of AGI, which has landed a suppliers credit facility of some US $2billion from China, arranged by government for the Association to provide equipment, machinery and other facilities in support of the programme.
He therefore expressed delight at the decision of the private sector to take advantage of government’s initiative to establish industrial economic zones,” saying “I’m particularly pleased that the AGI is working with other private sector entities to set up their own industrial parks as part of efforts to boost government’s quest to create economic zones.”
Going forward, President Akufo-Addo said, “I like to see more collaboration between the private sector and government within the framework of public-private partnership, with significant, if not more majoritarian domestic content, as a strategic option to accelerate economic growth.”
“We have rolled out a number of policy initiatives to help reduce the cost of doing business in order to spur the rapid growth of industry.”
On his part, outgoing AGI President, James Asare-Adjei, commended government for its effort in resolving the power crisis that hit the nation and introducing the various initiatives so far.
“AGI commends government for the macro-economic stability since the beginning of the year, resulting in the seeming improvement in the business environment and on the general economic outlook of the country,” he said.
Furthermore, he stated “we also acknowledge the significant improvement in energy supply to Ghanaian businesses in general. The unreliable supply of electricity was the biggest challenge that confronted industry.”
Dr Oteng-Gyasi’s Tropical Cables and Conductors Limited was adjudged the Overall Best Industrial Company of the year.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent