President John Dramani Mahama has expressed optimism that whoever becomes President after this year’s elections will inherit a stabilised economy.
“The good sign is that come January 7, whether I hand over to myself or to somebody, the person will inherit a stabilised economy,” he said.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting with religious leaders in Wa yesterday as part of his “Accounting to the People” tour of the Upper West Region, the President explained that the anticipated doom and gloom about the economy during election years as a result of overspending of the budget had stopped this year due to the government’s prudent spending.
Touting the resilient economy that had been built, Mr Mahama said whoever would lead the country into the future should be able to build a prosperous nation.
From one sector to the other, the President took time to explain what his government had achieved and what was being done to address the challenges and that the removal of the subsidies on energy and utilities had helped to prop up the economy.
President Mahama explained that the freeze on employment in the public sector with the exception of the education and health sectors, was part of measures to cut down the huge wage bill which was draining the economy.
Today, he said, the payment of wages amounted to 49 per cent of total revenue, but the ideal rate which the country must strive to attain was 35 per cent.
President Mahama said the government had begun negotiations with organised labour for the 2017 wage increase.
“The early move is to ensure that the parties have time to iron out all differences and come out with an acceptable minimum wage,” he said.
In the area of energy, he said in spite of the challenges, much had been done and the agenda to make Ghana a net exporter of electricity was on course.
He made reference to the Kufuor era where some clergymen prayed for more rain water to fill the Akosombo Dam and said such prayers were needed today, since a good rise in the water level of the dam would help reduce the cost of generation, which would result in reduced tariffs.
President Mahama reiterated that the current power challenge was the result of developments in Nigeria where oil lines had been vandalised, leading to cuts in the supply to Ghana, which had affected the country’s ability to power its thermal plants.
Progress in Upper West
He said the Upper West Region had witnessed appreciable development, and going into the future, the region would see accelerated progress.
He urged the religious leaders to continue to pray for national progress and peace.
The President, later in the day, inspected work on a new district assembly office complex at Nandom and the Wa-Han road.
By – Graphic