President John Dramani Mahama has urged Ghanaians to reject the “propaganda” by his opponents that the economy is in crisis.
In a brief assessment of the health of the economy while addressing staff and students of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani yesterday, he said: “The economy is healthy, and so when somebody says the economy is in crisis, we don’t see where the crisis is coming from.”
He was at the University as part of his campaign tour of the Brong Ahafo Region.
President Mahama said various international institutions had noted the gains in the economy and added that every objective Ghanaian would realise that the economy was gaining ground.
The strides, he explained, were partially due to prudent spending by the government, even in an election year when there was the temptation to over-spend.
“Even in an election year when the temptation is to open the spending gate, our spending is on track,” he said.
He said for the first time in many years, all public sector salaries, subsidies and other statutory payments were being made from government revenue rather than borrowing from the Central Bank to pay.
The President touched on Moody’s recent economic report on Ghana which defined the economic outlook of the country as positive and expressed surprise at the negative comments some people made about the report.
Meanwhile, he said, when the same rating agency downgraded Ghana’s economy earlier, they welcomed the report.
Many countries in the world, including well-endowed ones, he said, were undergoing some form of economic crisis, noting that Ghanaians had to take pride in the fact that the Ghanaian economy was getting better.
Touching on energy, President Mahama took the audience through where Ghana started from and where it had got to.
He said failure over the years to take power generation seriously had resulted in the power crisis, as demand exceeded supply, and mentioned how the government worked extra hard to end the crisis.
Ghana, he said, was entering energy security, which would make the country a net exporter of power.
Access to education
The President said it was to improve access to education that his flagship community day senior high school (SHS) project was born.
“This academic year, we will have 42 of the community day SHSs running, and if each can take 1,000 students, it means we are providing access for 42,000 children,” he said.
He stated that the public service did not have enough space to employ many of the graduates coming out of the universities.
The public service currently employs about 600,000.
To make sure that the private sector became a major employer, President Mahama said, the government was creating the enabling environment to enable the sector to expand.
He said emphasis was also being placed on skills training for the youth.