The Akufo-Addo’s 2018 budget read by the Finance Minister only underlines the fact that the administration is not equipped to face the challenges of governance.
There is has not been any indication that the administration is serious and determined to deliver on its campaign promises upon which they rode to power.
The President and his Finance Minister must know that Ghanaians did not give them the mandate to engage in frivolous excuses, storytelling and peddling of lies but to hit the ground running with solutions and quick fixes they promised during the campaign. The Finance Minister courageously lied that the dumsor was fixed by the Akufo-Addo administration. In their attempt to find an escape route in their bogus campaign promises, they have started taking credit for Mahama’s achievements. How many megawatts of power have they added to what was added to the stock by Mahama. President Mahama as part of his plans to meet the growing electricity demand (10-12%) per annum, took steps aimed at fixing permanently the perennial shortfalls in power generation which led to load shedding exercises in 1983, 1998, 2006/7 and the dumsor during his tenure. The Mahama administration added more megawatts of generation capacity to what he inherited-
110 MW steam component of the T2 power plant at Aboadze
250 MW Ameri Power Plant
225 MW Karpower barge
220 MW Kpone Thermal Plant
180 MW First Part of Simon Asogli Plant
38 MW TTP Plant
110 MW TEI plant
186 MW T4 Power Plant at Aboadze
2MW solar Power plant at Navrongo
The Mahama administration entered into power purchase agreement with several independent power producers to construct additional power plants and the breakdown is as follows
Sunon Asogli Phase 2 180MW
Jacobsen 360 MW
Amandi 240 MW.
Apart from all these major projects the administration worked on renewable energy and as part of the initiative, thousands of hectares of trees were planted near Kwame Danso by the African Plantations Limited.
The Atuabo Gas plant built by the Mahama administration will supply 120 million standard cubic feet gas per day to generate about 500MW of electricity and saving Ghana Ghc 500 million in fuel importation for electricity generation. The plant has the capacity to produce 240,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum Gas a year.
In January 2015, the Mahama administration signed an agreement to begin work on the ENI/Vitol Sankofa field. The operationalization of the TEN and sankofa field will bring Ghana’s gas production to above 300 mmsced.
The President and his team must rise up to the realities and take urgent steps to solve the mess they’ve created. Rural markets have nearly 60% of all retail stores but account for just a third of fast moving consumer goods in the country. A reduction in the tax liability of those with low income will help boost non- urban demand and a well planned tax incentive should improve penetration and consumption of affordable, small unit packs. This must be the approach not that old primitive jargon of widening the tax net whilst giving waivers to your business cronies.Without taking difficult but prudent economic measures, we will never ever witness economic development driven by industrialisation. Just like the 2017 budget, government did not prioritise social investment spending, economic diversification and critical infrastructure spending except to mention few of the projects started under the previous administration. The finance minister deliberately failed to tell Ghanaians how much they’ve borrowed, and where the moneys went apart from his old debt profiling jargon. All the moneys borrowed went into consumption and that is the danger our economists must courageously point out. He talked about our huge wage bill yet, announced new funds consuming policies which are going to escalate dangerously our cost servicing burden. The economy described by the finance minister as stable, still needs the support of the stabilisation levy and the import levy. Almost all the new policies the Minister announced as his government’s measures to support the economy and reduce the unemployment menace are policies the last administration introduced which were vehemently condemned by the Npp including the nation builders programme. The last administration introduced the YES initiative to support young entrepreneurs. The GIFMIX is another project the Npp vehemently condemned but has become the administration’s Messiah. These policies have become the pillars the administration is relying on to push its agenda.
As for the Finance Minister’s attacks on the previous administration, it was part of their evasive, diversionary and preemptive the Akufo-Addo administration has piled up for their excuses and cover their failure to deliver on its campaign promises to Ghanaians.