Government focusing on economic expansion – Finance Minister

Accra- Government will this year focus on expanding the economy and creating more opportunities for all Ghanaians, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, has stated.

He explained that 2018 and the medium term would focus on consolidating the economic gains made in 2017, executing the transformational agenda and continuing with their structural reforms to ensure irreversibility.

He said 2017 was a year of fiscal consolidation and the implementation of structural reforms.

Mr Ofori-Atta, who was speaking at a media engagement on the economy with financial journalists in Accra, said: “We met our key macroeconomic targets in 2017 and successfully completed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fourth review programme”.

The Minister noted that in 2017, they outperformed the deficit target of 6.3 per cent and reduced the total debt to gross domestic products (GDP) growth target of 6.3 per cent (forecast 7.9 per cent, average three quarter 8.3 per cent).

He mentioned that they were able to reduce end-year inflation from 15.4 per cent in 2016 to 11.8 per cent in 2017, and also reduced energy sector debt issues via the ESLA bond.

On disbursements for flagship programmes of the government in 2018, the Minister said GH 91.5 million had been released to support the construction of factories under the “One District, One Factory”.

He said GH 205 million had since January been released, for the “Free Senior High School (SHS)” project, and that, another GH 105 million had also been released since January for the “Planting for Foods and Jobs” programme.

The rest are National Identification, GH 126 million, School Feeding Programme, GH 100 million and the Scholarship Secretariat GH 100 million.

Mr Ofori-Atta said GH 400 million contracts had been awarded for the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).

He said the Finance Ministry would continue to provide the needed support for all the other Ministries to enable them to deliver effectively on Government’s agenda.

Source: Ghana News Agency