Budget 2019: Full Statement

News in Ghana

On the Authority of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,
President of the Republic of Ghana, the Budget Speech of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year is Presented to Parliament on
Thursday, 15th November 2018
By
Ken Ofori-Atta
Minister for Finance
Theme: “A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity”
Theme: “A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity”
i | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
The 2019
Budget Statement
and
Economic Policy
of Government
Theme: “A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity”
ii | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
To purchase copies of the Statement, please contact the Public Relations Office of the
Ministry
Ministry of Finance
Public Relations Office
New Building, Ground Floor, Room 001 and 003
P. O. Box MB 40
Accra – Ghana
The 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana is also
available on the internet at:
www.mofep.gov.gh
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3 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Section One: Introduction
1. Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members of
Parliament, today the fifteenth day of November 2018, on the
authority of the President of the Republic of Ghana, His
Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I beg to move that
this august House approves the Financial Policy of the
Government of the Republic of Ghana for the year ending 31st
December, 2019.
2. Mr. Speaker, on the authority of His Excellency the
President, and in keeping with the requirement under Article
179 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, may I
respectfully present the Budget Statement and Economic
Policies of Government for 2019 to this Honourable House.
3. Mr. Speaker, this statement is an abridged version of the
2019 Budget Statement. I would like to request the Hansard
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4 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Department to capture the entire Budget Statement and
Economic Policy.
4. I also submit before this august House, the 2018 Annual
Report on the Petroleum Funds, in accordance with Section 48
of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815), as
amended.
5. Mr. Speaker, the theme of this year’s budget is “A Stronger
Economy, for Jobs and Prosperity”. The budget represents the
third of four budget statements of the government. It,
therefore, offers us an opportunity to take a mid-term review of
the performance of the Government in managing the economy
and how we intend to accelerate the programme of growing the
economy, protecting the vulnerable, and creating jobs and
prosperity for the Ghanaian people over the next financial year.
6. I do not take lightly the significance of this moment and
opportunity we are granted annually to determine how the
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5 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
precious assets of Ghana – our people, our land, our natural
resources and our treasury should be stewarded for national
growth and human development.
7. Despite the challenges, we approach this process with
genuine humility and gratitude to a great God. We recognize
that while current resources are insufficient to meet every need
and every demand of every Ghanaian, there are no limitations
on our collective potential, our will and our hope that the
sacrifices we make and the seeds we sow today will achieve
sustainable results putting Ghana on an irreversible path of
enviable empowerment.
8. With all the humility I can muster, Mr. Speaker, permit me
to say that I am proud to say that the Akufo-Addo government
is delivering on this four-year resounding mandate that the
people of Ghana has given us. This is evident in the impressive
strides the nation has made in the past 22 months.
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6 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
9. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the President, I wish to thank
you all, the citizens of this country, for your patience,
perseverance, sacrifices, activism and partnership that you have
extended to this government. So far-reaching and non-partisan
has these national sacrifices been, that even now, some
members of the Minority in Parliament have decided to lead the
campaign for cleaner environment by dumping their gasguzzling
Toyota Land cruisers to ride bicycles to work. For
example, a former Deputy Minister for Power, during the
unforgiving ‘Dumsor’ era under President John Dramani
Mahama, was seen two evenings ago riding his bicycle to a
luxury furniture shop on the Spintex Road.
10. Yes, Mr. Speaker, we have, in the last two budget years,
taken some tough decisions to get the country out of some very
rough seas. We are not proud of the fact that there is still
hardship in the country. But we are comforted by the fact that
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7 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
we have managed to ease the impact of the hardships that the
Ghanaian people had been resigned to prior to December 7,
2016. We are not there yet. We still have a long way to go in
fulfilling the manifest destiny of this blessed land. Indeed, we
are being repaid for “the years the locusts have eaten”.
11. So, Mr. Speaker, what is, however, clear is that the nation
is moving forward under this government and moving forward
in the right direction.
12. We are now on course to exit the IMF programme by the
end of this year. It has been a collective effort by all of us––
Government, for exercising the kind of macro-economic
competence and discipline that was evidently lacking in the
past; and, the people for their patience, understanding, and
keeping faith with their government. The programme may have
had its critics because of the constraints it imposed. But it was
a necessary pill because by 2014, the government then had lost
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8 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
its fiscal discipline and had very little choice but to seek the
bailout. We are grateful to the IMF and are determined to
maintain a combination of economic discipline and vibrancy that
will ensure that we will not have to be rescued in that manner
in the future.
13. Mr. Speaker, the philosophy of this government has not
been to throw our hands in the air and offer excuses. The
President, of course, set the standard in his first State of the
Nation address. He said: “I was not elected by the
overwhelming majority of the Ghanaian people to complain. I
was elected to get things done. I was elected to fix what is
broken and my government and I are determined to do just
that.”
14. Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember what it was in
order to appreciate the work that has been done to fix the mess:
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9 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● Declining economic growth that fell from 14 percent 2011
to 3.7 percent in 2016;
● Declining growth in agriculture and negative growth in
industry;
● Rising unemployment that resulted in the formation of the
Unemployed Graduates Association;
● High Fiscal Deficits reaching 9.3 percent of GDP in 2016;
● Fast rising Public Debts which pushed the debt-to-GDP
ratio to 73.1 percent at the end of 2016;
● Fast-falling Cedi, affecting even the meagre profits that
street hawkers struggle to make;
● High interest rates killing businesses;
● Effective return to “Cash and Carry” under NHIS as a result
of Government arrears
● Weak Banking System and unstable financial system;
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10 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● And, lest we forget, Mr. Speaker, Ghanaian businesses, big
and small, were working only to pay electricity bills or to
buy diesel for the generator. We cannot forget so soon the
havoc that five years of ‘Dumsor’ caused to households,
businesses and all, up and down the country.
15. These are just some items on the long list of things that
were broken and needed to be fixed.
16. Mr. Speaker, within two years of the change in
government, below are just some of the problems we have
fixed:
● a change in the management of the economy;
● a change from macroeconomic instability to
macroeconomic stability;
● a change from a rising debt-to-GDP ratio to a declining
debt-to-GDP ratio;
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11 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● changing from a weak banking system to a strong, wellcapitalised
and better supervised banking system;
● a change from taxation that undermines production;
● a change from a predominance of sole sourcing to
competitive tendering in procurement; this changed has
seen the Public Procurement Authority making total
savings of GH¢1.8 billion from January 2017 to October
2018. It is important to recognized that not a single
pesewa was saved all the years under the previous
government until 2017.
● a change from the manual process of clearing goods, with
its attendant corruption at the ports to a paperless
process;
● a change to bring about a reduction in electricity tariff;
● a change from Dumsor to reliable power;
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12 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● a change in the access to and cost of education, to
introduce free Senior High School education;
● a change from the abolition of teacher training allowances
to a restoration of teacher training allowances;
● a change from Cash and Carry in NHIS to a functioning
national health insurance system where arrears have been
cleared;
● a change from the abolition of nursing training allowances
to a restoration of nursing training allowances;
● a change to increase the share of the DACF to persons with
disabilities from 2 percent to 3 percent;
● a change in a moribund private sector to a vibrant job
creating private sector;
● a change from rising graduate unemployment to reducing
graduate unemployment through programmes such as the
100,000 strong NABCO corps;
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13 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● a change from a dying colonial railway network system,
that had been to a re-energised railway sector;
● a change from a stagnant agricultural sector to a
revitalised agricultural sector under the Planting for Food
and Jobs programme;
● a change from destructive galamsey activities to a
regulated small-scale mining activities;
● a change from the opaque allocation of Ghana’s oil blocks
to non-performing cronies to a transparent allocation of oil
blocks to investors with the capacity to work the fields.
17. Mr. Speaker, His Excellency responded and promised:
● an innovative change to bring jobs and income to every
district through One District One Factory;
● an innovative change to bring development to our rural
areas through One Village One Dam under IPEP;
● an innovative change to Mobile Payment Interoperability;
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14 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● an innovative change to three Development Authorities to
be a vehicle for accelerated development and the
allocation of capital expenditure;
● an innovative change to the establishment of the Zongo
Development Fund as a vehicle to focus on the
developmental needs of Zongo communities; and
● an innovative change to the approach of entrepreneurship
development through the establishment of the National
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP).
18. A major focus of the Government in the last 22 months has been
to clean the economic mess we inherited with the restoration
and sustainability of macroeconomic stability as the anchor for
economic growth. Fiscal policy has been underpinned by
increased revenue mobilisation, fiscal consolidation, and
expenditure prioritisation, as well as moving Government policy
from a focus on taxation to a focus on production. In this regard,
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15 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Government has implemented the following policies and
measures:
● Abolished excise duty on petroleum;
● Reduced special petroleum tax rate from 17.5 percent to 15.0
percent and further reduced to 13 percent, converted from ad
valorem to specific tax. In fact, it is important to note that
petroleum taxes as a percentage of the total price build up for
petroleum prices has reduced from 40.0 percent in March 2017
to 26.0 percent today;
● We abolished levies imposed on ‘kayayei’ by local authorities;
● Abolished the 1 percent Special Import Levy;
● Abolished the 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on domestic airline
tickets;
● Abolished the 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on financial services;
● Abolished the 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on selected imported
medicines, that are not produced locally;
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16 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● Abolished the 5.0 percent VAT/NHIL on Real Estate sales;
● Abolished import duty on the importation of spare parts;
● Reduced National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5.0 percent
to 2.0 percent and
● Reduced Public Lighting Levy from 5.0 percent to 3.0 percent.
19. After 22 months of disciplined economic management, the
results have been quite remarkable:
● Economic growth increased from 3.7 percent in 2016 to 8.5
percent in 2017;
● Agriculture growth increased from 3.0 percent in 2016 to 8.4
percent in 2017;
● Industry growth rose from negative 0.5 percent in 2016 to 16.7
percent in 2017;
● Services Sector grew at 4.3 percent in 2017 compared to 5.7
percent in 2016;
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17 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● The fiscal deficit was reduced from 9.3 percent of GDP in 2016
to 5.9 percent of GDP in 2017 (the first time since 2006 that a
government has met the deficit target), it is at 2.8 percent of
GDP in June 2018 within the target of 4.5 percent of GDP in
December 2018;
● Inflation declined from 15.4 percent in 2016 to 11.8 percent in
2017 and now stands in single digits at 9.8 percent
(September);
● The Bank of Ghana Monetary Policy Rate saw a year-on-year
reduction from 25.5 percent by end-2016 to 20 percent by end-
2017 and currently stands at 17 percent. This is the longest 18-
month reduction in the monetary policy rate since 2001;
● Interest rates on the 91-day treasury bills declined from 16.8
and now stands at 13.4 percent;
● Ghana’s trade position with the rest of the world has
strengthened. The trade account recorded a deficit of US$1.4
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18 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
billion in June 2016, improved significantly to a surplus for the
first time in two decades to US$1.1 billion as at June 2017 and
another surplus of US$1.1 billion as at June 2018;
● Our gross international reserves increased from $6.2 billion in
December 2016 (3.5 months of imports) to US$7.3 billion as at
June 2018 (3.9 months of imports);
● Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio which increased from 32 percent in
2008 to 73.1 percent in 2016 declined for the first time since
2007 from 73.1 percent of GDP in 2016 to 67.3 percent in June
2018; and
● For the first time in almost a decade, Standard and Poor’s (S&P)
upgraded Ghana’s Sovereign Credit rating from B negative to B
with a stable outlook, in September 2018.
20. These are remarkable achievements which we are determined
to build on in order to improve the lives of Ghanaians. In
preparing this budget, we undertook broad consultations with
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19 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
various stakeholders across the nation. Consequently, I present
to this august house and to the people of our great country:
● a budget that delivers on the hopes and expectations
of Ghanaians;
● a budget that speaks to the needs of hardworking
Ghanaians;
● a budget that enables us to face the future with
confidence;
● a budget that reflects Government’s commitment to
building human capital through improvements in
health and education;
● a budget that continues to deliver on job creation;
● a budget that provides opportunity for wealth
creation;
● a budget that follows through on our promise to
protect the public purse;
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20 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● a budget that small businesses will be happy about;
● a budget that enjoins our citizens to uphold the
Republic and to at all times fulfil their civic duties as
citizens of the Republic;
● a budget that promotes our commitment to the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and takes
fundamental steps towards Ghana Beyond Aid.
21. This will be the first budget in Africa and second in the world,
after Mexico to fully integrate the SDGs framework, enabling us
to track our financial performance in order to ensure progress
on these important targets that affect lives of our fellow
Ghanaians.
22. Mr. Speaker, our 2018 “Adwuma” Budget aimed to build on our
2017 “Asempa” Budget achievements and put the country back
to work; to grow the economy, create jobs and improve the lives
of Ghanaians. Economic growth remains strong, and we are on
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21 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
track to achieve our key macroeconomic targets for 2018 and
the medium term. This is progress we can all be proud of.
23. Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) completed the
GDP rebasing exercise in September 2018. As a result, our
economy is 24.5 percent larger. This increase reflects economic
activities that hitherto were not captured (e.g. natural gas
production), or were captured with insufficient data (e.g. fruits,
vegetables, mining and manufacturing activities).
24. The rebasing resulted in a number of changes in some economic
indicators. The good news is that per capita GDP rose from
GH¢7,110 to GH¢8,863. On the other hand, with the expanded
GDP base, the 2017 GDP growth rate of 8.5 percent was revised
down to 8.1 percent, which is still the highest in recent years.
We are fully aware of what happened the last time Ghana’s
economy was rebased, in November 2010, resulting in a 63
percent upward change. It gave the then managers of the
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22 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
economy a false sense of security, as the debt-to-GDP ratio was
significantly reduced. They went on a borrowing spree,
forgetting that rebasing also exposed how very little revenue we
raise through taxation.
25. Mr. Speaker, during the first half of 2018, real GDP grew by 5.4
percent, reflecting slower growth in the oil sector compared to
2017, but we are still on track to achieve our revised target of
5.6 percent growth this year. Much of the higher growth in the
past 2 years reflects our prudent economic management and
flagship programmes that respond to the realities of the
majority of our citizens
26. In addition to significant achievements in stabilising the
economy, we are on course to achieve our fiscal deficit target
of 4.5 percent for the year (3.7 % in the rebased series). This
will be the 2nd consecutive year this Government has achieved
its fiscal deficit target.
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23 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
27. Mr. Speaker not only are we growing the economy, the Bank of
Ghana has also done an excellent job in implementing monetary
policy. This has resulted in inflation dropping to single digit,
lower interest rates, and a relatively stable currency, despite
recent turbulence in emerging markets, and a strengthening US
Dollar.
28. The financial system is critical to the functioning and
development of the economy and, banks are central to our
financial system. In addition to providing employment to a large
segment of the population, the role of banks as the provider of
credit and liquidity to the economy remains critical to the
functioning of our economy.
29. Mr. Speaker, weak macroeconomic conditions coupled with poor
corporate governance and risk management in a number of
banks, over the past few years, led to high levels of nonperforming
loans (NPLs) and abuse of depositors’ funds through
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24 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
related parties and affiliates in breach of regulatory
requirements. In addition, the lack of enforcement of the rules
contributed to liquidity and solvency challenges in the banking
sector. As a result, we inherited a number of weak banks and
specialised deposit-taking institutions (savings and loans
companies, Finance Houses, Rural and Community Banks, and
microfinance institutions). This eventually led to the failure of
seven banks, with potentially adverse consequences for
depositors, creditors, employees, suppliers, and other
stakeholders. It was critically important that these failed banks
be made to exit the financial system in a timely and orderly
fashion to avoid contagion for the rest of the financial system.
30. Mr. Speaker, since the assumption of office by the current
administration of the Bank of Ghana, bold measures have been
taken to restore the health and resilience of the banking sector
and to clamp down on unlicensed deposit-taking financial
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25 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
houses. In addition to the two insolvent banks that were closed
last year by the Bank of Ghana, five more were closed in August
this year for insolvency and other infractions of the law.
Rescuing the situation regarding these seven banks has, so far,
cost some GH¢9.9 billion in monies that Government had not
budgeted for and could have surely been put in good use to fix
our numerous infrastructural needs, such as housing, roads,
bridges, etc.
31. The Government has continued to provide assurances to
depositors and customers of licensed banks and specialised
deposit-taking institutions, through demonstrable actions, that
their deposits are safe. Indeed, following the creation of the
Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (a wholly owned Government
of Ghana and licensed by the Bank of Ghana as a universal
bank), the government capitalised it with GH¢450 million. In
addition, Government had to issue a bond with a face value of
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GH¢7.6 billion to cover the gap, between the deposit liabilities
and the remaining good assets of the failed banks. This singular
action of government has reposed confidence in the banking
system because it will ensure that no deposit will be lost, and
customers will continue to access their deposits without
difficulty.
32. Through Government’s intervention in August this year,
deposits of some GH¢11.0 billion have been saved as well as
some 2,661 jobs in addition to several hundred saved in 2017
from the insolvent 2 banks that were closed in 2017. The
Government’s action has also created a strong indigenous
Ghanaian bank in place of the five failed banks. The
Government is committed to ensuring that Consolidated Bank
Ghana Limited remains a strong customer-oriented indigenous
bank, well positioned to meet the demands of all its customers
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27 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
and to serve as the go-to bank for financing Small and Medium
Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and corporate Ghana.
33. Mr. Speaker, generally, banks have made progress in repairing
their balance sheets by writing off bad loans and addressing
capital needs. Banks are far advanced in executing their plans
to augment their statutory capital in line with the new minimum
requirement, compliance of which is expected by end-December
2018.
34. The Bank of Ghana is also working on a comprehensive action
plan for cleaning up the specialised deposit-taking institutions
(SDI) sector made up of savings and loans companies, finance
houses, rural and community banks, and microfinance
institutions. The Government will support an orderly resolution
of the difficulties and will provide the much-needed funds to
facilitate prompt pay-outs to their depositors.
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28 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
35. Mr. Speaker, the Government’s financial interventions in the
clean-up exercise have been necessary to help mitigate the
socio-economic impacts arising out of the closure of the failed
financial institutions. It is important that the costs of these
interventions, borne by taxpayers, are recovered to the extent
possible, through recoveries from debtors, shareholders, and
related and connected parties, who, through unfair means,
siphoned funds, from the defunct banks to the detriment of
depositors, employees, other stakeholders, and the economy as
a whole. The receivers for the resolved banks have already
commenced civil actions against shareholders and directors to
recover funds. The Attorney-General has also set up a special
investigation team that is preparing dockets to prosecute those
found criminally liable. The Bank of Ghana has also set up an
Office of Ethics and Internal Investigations to investigate all
allegations of misconduct by staff, including any role in the
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29 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
collapse of defunct banks. The Government will not shield
anyone found complicit in the failure of these banks.
36. In addition to all these clean-ups, Government has also taken
steps to settle almost all claims of DKM customers. Mr. Speaker,
you would recall that DKM Diamond Microfinance Limited had
its license revoked in February 2016 with considerable suffering
imposed on depositors, without any meaningful response from
the previous government. That has significantly changed. The
official liquidator received 99,858 claims and the validated
claims amounted to GH¢502 million. I would like to inform the
country that out of the 99,858 claims, 79,708 (80 percent) have
been settled and depositors have been paid. The Government
has set aside funds at the Bank of Ghana to pay the remaining
20 percent of depositors upon validation. An additional 12,612
claims have been fully provided for, but the customers have not
as yet been able to show proof of deposit. This means that 92
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percent of DKM claims from depositors have been paid or
provided for. Depositors for the remaining 7,568 claims of above
GH¢10,000 are yet to reach agreement with the liquidators.
37. Mr. Speaker let me say how pleased His Excellency the President
is, that in 2018, 270,000 young Ghanaians (90,000 in
2017/2018 and 180,000 in 2018/2019) who would not have
been able to access secondary education were able to attend to
do so because of Free SHS. We cannot downplay how significant
this is to build a future for every citizen of this land.
38. Mr. Speaker, the days of an ailing National Health Insurance
Scheme are behind us. We have re-energised the scheme which
is now able to settle its bills, thereby ensuring that many more
Ghanaians have access to quality healthcare across the country.
39. For our Government, support for the private sector is a top
priority. Our efforts to improve the business environment were
duly recognised in the 2019 World Bank Ease of Doing Business
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31 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Report, in which our position improved from 120th to 114th, out
of 190 countries. This is just the beginning, as we strive to
continually improve the business climate in Ghana. We can and
will do much better.
40. Government has provided strong support to stimulate the
private sector. In addition to bringing down interest rates, we
provided direct support to the sector, through the Stimulus and
1D1F programmes. The 1D1F programme has generated strong
interest from several banks. Fifty-five (55) companies have
been funded, with several others in the pipeline.
41. Mr. Speaker, Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs
programme (PFJ) is yielding impressive results. In order to
consolidate the gains achieved under programme, Government,
last week, operationalised the Ghana Commodity Exchange, the
first electronic commodity exchange in West Africa. Going
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32 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
forward, there will always be a ready market for farmers who
produce grains such as corn and soya, among others.
42. Through this exchange an estimated 200,000 skilled jobs will be
provided not only in Accra but in key agriculture production and
trading centres including Wenchi, Tamale and Sandema which
host warehouses to support the exchange. Some of the jobs to
be created include commodity brokers, data analysts, credit
officers and grain pickers.
43. Mr. Speaker, Ghana’s credibility in the international capital
market is on the rise. As a testament to the prudent fiscal and
monetary policies of this Government, in May 2018, The Akufo-
Addo Government successfully issued its first Eurobond, with
shining success: a hat trick of 3 Ls:
• Largest Eurobond issuance of $2 billion;
• the Longest maturity period of 30 years; and
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33 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
• the Lowest pricing in Ghana’s history–8.627 percent for the
30-year bond!
44. Mr. Speaker, 2018 Ghana’s appeal as the preferred investment
destination has grown significantly and we have attracted global
industry giants such as Volkswagen, Nissan, ExxonMobil and
Siemens to establish local assembly plants.
45. Mr. Speaker, our policies have improved the business
environment and the private sector has responded by increasing
jobs. Based on SSNIT data, the private sector added 208,620
formal jobs in the first 10 months of 2018, an increase on the
197,000 formal jobs registered in 2017. We have resourced the
Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Employment and
Labour Relations to develop a more robust system to track
employment on a quarterly basis.
46. Government is also doing its part on job creation. Over the
period 2017 and 2018, the Ministry of Finance granted financial
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34 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
clearance to various agencies to recruit 88,719 Ghanaians into
critical sectors of agriculture, health, and education to enable
us to improve service delivery. In addition, the Nation Builders
Corps (NABCO), a three – year transitional job opportunity for
young graduates has enrolled 100,000 young graduates to
support the delivery of critical public services.
47. Mr. Speaker, this is a monumental achievement as it is the
largest single jobs and skills development programme in the last
50 years. The testimonies from the beneficiaries and their
families have reaffirmed Government’s commitment to
transform our society.
48. Mr. Speaker, in recent times, the NPP Government has had to
inherit an IMF programme from our friends across the aisle
which we have successfully completed. Notwithstanding exiting
this current programme after successful completion, we will
continue with our prudent management of the economy and
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35 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
buttress that with legal and institutional measures to ensure
irreversibility of the gains made so far. However, as a member
in good standing, we will continue our productive policy and
technical collaborations with the IMF.
49. Mr. Speaker, Ghana can look forward with renewed confidence.
This seminal 2019 budget, which comes at the mid-term of our
administration aims to consolidate the gains from tough reform
measures taken so far and surge boldly forward in growing our
economy especially as we successfully exit the ECF programme
with the IMF, our trusted advisors in the past three years. Under
the ECF programme, we jointly made some difficult decisions,
which have enabled us to improve our macroeconomic situation.
50. Mr. Speaker, we would like to acknowledge the role and
contributions of the IMF in our achievements in macroeconomic
stabilisation and growth. As a member of the IMF, Ghana will
continue to engage the IMF through Article IV consultations and
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36 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
other arrangements even after its exit from the current ECF
Programme.
51. As we complete and exit the programme in December 2018, we
are also instituting measures to ensure irreversibility of the
macroeconomic gains we have made. Consequently, we will,
among others:
● legislate a fiscal responsibility rule to cap the fiscal deficit
to no more than 5% of GDP as part of measures to
promote budget credibility and fiscal sustainability;
● strictly enforce the PFM Act to promote efficient and
effective public financial management;
● continue with the zero central bank financing arrangement
with the BoG to curb fiscal dominance as part of measures
to rein in on inflation;
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37 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● maximize domestic resource mobilization and increase Tax
Revenue-to-GDP ratio to levels in line with our peer Lower
Middle-Income countries;
● implement expenditure efficiency and rationalisation
measures to increase efficiency in public spending and free
more fiscal space for growth oriented and job-creating
programmes;
● enforce the Public Procurement Act and ensure sole
sourcing is minimized to promote competition and
efficiency in public spending, thereby, promoting value for
money; and
● institute risk management framework to mitigate macrofiscal
risks. In view of this a Fiscal Risks Unit has been
established at the Ministry of Finance.
52. God has demonstrated countless times that He can use ordinary
people, ordinary nations in ordinary times to do extraordinary
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38 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
things. Ghana has a history replete with “extraordinary”
achievements – nationally, regionally and internationally. These
achievements were the result and culmination of right choices.
53. Mr. Speaker, having set the tone for this budget, in accordance
with the Public Financial Management Act, I will proceed to
provide details of Government’s plans for 2019, focusing on:
● Recent global macroeconomic developments, and their
implications for Ghana;
● Ghana’s macroeconomic performance in 2018, and our
targets for 2019 and the medium term; and
● Sectoral performance, Government’s key programmes and
policy initiatives, and the consequent deliverables.
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39 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Section Two: Global Economic Developments and Outlook
Growth
54. Mr. Speaker, according to the IMF’s October 2018 World
Economic Outlook (WEO), global growth momentum moderated
in the first half of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017.
This reflected greater than expected moderation of activity in
some advanced economies, particularly, in the euro area and
United Kingdom. Global growth is projected to be maintained at
3.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, same as in 2017.
55. Growth in advanced economies expected to increase very
marginally from 2.3 percent in 2017 to 2.4 percent in 2018,
largely on the back of strong growth in the US economy, which
benefited from sizable fiscal stimulus. Growth in emerging
markets and developing economies was steady in the first half
of 2018, supported by continued stronger growth in emerging
Asia, despite the moderation of activity in China. Growth in the
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40 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
emerging markets and developing economies is projected to
remain steady at 4.7 percent in 2019, same as in 2018 and
2017. In sub-Saharan Africa, growth is expected to increase
from 2.7 percent in 2017 to 3.1 percent in 2018, and further to
3.8 percent in 2019, boosted by oil-exporting economies which
benefited from higher oil prices.
Inflation
56. Mr. Speaker, global inflation increased in the second quarter of
2018, largely reflecting higher energy prices. Core inflation,
excluding food and energy, remains below target in most
advanced economies while in emerging markets and developing
economies, core inflation has inched up in recent months.
Commodity Prices
57. Mr. Speaker, commodity prices generally continued to
strengthen in the third quarter of 2018; oil prices increased to
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41 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
about US$76 a barrel in the first half of 2018, the highest since
November 2014, but declined to about US$71 in October 2018,
following increased oil production by the major exporters.
58. Mr. Speaker, the world market price of cocoa beans is estimated
to reach US$2,200 per metric tonne in 2018 compared to
US$2,025 in 2017. Gold prices are also projected to increase
from US$1,293/toz in 2017 to an average of US$1,3460/toz in
2018 before falling slightly to US$1,302/toz in 2019.
Financial conditions
59. Mr. Speaker, the monetary policy normalisation in the US led to
a stronger US dollar and rising yields on US treasuries, resulting
in tighter financing conditions and capital flow reversals in a
number of emerging markets and frontier economies, including
Ghana. Despite these developments, global financial conditions
remain generally supportive of growth.
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42 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
SECTION 3: DOMESTIC MACROECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
FOR 2018
60. Mr. Speaker, the performance of the economy for the first nine
months has been impressive. To properly assess this
performance, let me first re-state the macroeconomic targets
set for 2018 as presented in the 2018 Budget:
● Overall Real GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent (5.6 % in the
rebased series);
● Non-Oil Real GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent (5.8 % in the
rebased series);
● End-period inflation of 8.9 percent;
● Fiscal deficit of 4.5 percent of GDP (3.7 % in the rebased
series);
● Primary surplus of 1.7 percent of GDP (1.4 % in the
rebased series); and
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43 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● Gross International Reserves to cover not less than 3.5
months of imports of goods and services.
61. Mr. Speaker, data as at the end September 2018 shows that,
the economy is in good shape and we are on track to meet our
targets:
● Real GDP grew by 5.4 percent (using rebased series) in the first
half of 2018 compared to the annual target of 5.6 percent. Nonoil
real GDP grew by 4.6 percent compared to the 2018 target
of 5.8 percent;
● End-period inflation rate declined from 11.8 percent at the end
of 2017 to 9.8 percent at the end of September 2018; and
further to 9.5 percent as at October 2018;
● The fiscal deficit was 3.0 percent of rebased GDP at the end of
September 2018 compared to a target of 2.7 percent;
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44 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● The primary balance was a surplus of 0.5 percent of rebased
GDP compared to a target of 0.9 percent of rebased GDP for
the period;
● The public debt including the financial sector bailout costs at the
end of September 2018 was 57.4 percent of rebased GDP.
Excluding bailout costs, the debt was 53.9 percent of rebased
GDP;
● The monetary policy rate dropped from 20 percent at the end
of 2017 to 17 percent at the end of October 2018;
● The provisional trade balance for the period recorded a surplus
of US$1,617.81 million compared to a surplus of US$777.82
million recorded for the same period in 2017;
● Gross International Reserves accumulated to US$6,756.43
million sufficient to cover up to 3.6 months of imports, ahead of
our 2018 target of 3.5 months;
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45 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● The exchange rate, which appreciated against the US Dollar up
to May 2018, depreciated by 7.57 percent at the end of Sept
2018 largely on account of external pressures including the
strengthening of the US dollar, the US-China trade war, and the
US Fed policy rate hikes. Compared to other emerging
economies, Ghana has been able to weather the storm a lot
better, primarily due to strong economic fundamentals.
62. Mr. Speaker, the detailed performance in the real, monetary,
external, and fiscal sectors of the economy is provided below.
Growth
63. Mr. Speaker, the 2018 Budget envisaged a 6.8 percent GDP
growth rate. However, with the rebasing of the GDP, there has
been the need to revise the 2018 growth projection. Thus, the
overall GDP growth target has been revised to 5.6 percent,
taking account of the base effect of the GDP rebasing and half46
46 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
year performance. Non-Oil GDP is projected to grow by 5.8
percent.
64. Mr. Speaker, provisional estimates by the Ghana Statistical
Service show that economic growth remains strong in 2018.
Real GDP grew by 5.4 percent during the first half of 2018. The
non-oil economy grew by 4.4 percent and 4.3 percent in the
first and second quarters of 2018, respectively.
Monetary Aggregates and Credit Developments
65. Mr. Speaker, broad money supply, including foreign currency
deposits (M2+) grew by 24.1 percent year-on-year at end
September 2018 compared with 23.1 percent over the same
period in 2017. The pace of expansion in banks’ total
outstanding credit increased in the 12-month period to
September 2018. Total outstanding credit increased by 13.0
percent (GH¢4.7 billion) compared with 7.9 percent (GH¢2.6
billion) in September 2017. Most of the credit to the private
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47 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
sector was absorbed by the commerce and finance, services,
transport and storage, communication, and manufacturing subsectors.
Interest Rates
66. Mr. Speaker, money market interest rates generally trended
downwards in 2018, reflecting the reduction in the monetary
policy rate and general improvements in macroeconomic
fundamentals. However, the 91-day Treasury bill rate increased
to 13.37 percent in September 2018, from 12.8 percent a year
ago, while the 1-year note firmed up to 18.0 percent in
September 2018. Deposits and lending rates of the Deposit
Money Banks also went down generally.
Exchange Rate
67. Mr. Speaker, the Ghanaian Cedi, came under pressure in the
second quarter of 2018, following the strengthening of the US
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48 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
dollar in international markets. These developments resulted in
tighter financing conditions and capital flow reversals in a
number of emerging markets and frontier economies, including
Ghana. Domestic demand pressures for foreign exchange, as
well as, speculative trading were also contributory factors. Mr.
Speaker, the Cedi, however, stabilised in the third quarter,
benefiting from positive sentiments on the market as a result of
the cocoa syndicated loan inflow.
International Reserves
68. Mr. Speaker, these external sector developments resulted in a
drawdown of the country’s gross international reserves by
US$798.41 million to US$6.8 billion at the end of September
2018. This was sufficient to provide for 3.6 months of imports
cover compared with 3.9 months of imports cover as at
December 2017.
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49 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Fiscal developments
69. Mr. Speaker, our overarching fiscal policy objective over the
past two years has been to consolidate our public finances as a
surer path to a declining debt burden. With this in mind, the
2018 Budget set the overall fiscal balance as the primary anchor
and targeted a reduction in the fiscal deficit from 4.8 percent of
rebased GDP (5.9 % of old GDP) in 2017 to 3.7 percent of
rebased GDP (4.5 % of old GDP) in 2018. At the same time, the
fiscal framework was calibrated to yield a larger primary surplus
relative to the 2017 outturn and ultimately lower the rate of
debt accumulation.
70. Mr. Speaker, to safeguard our fiscal policy objectives for 2018,
Government presented a package of revenue measures to this
august House during the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the
2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy. These measures
took into consideration, the need; first, to improve the sluggish
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50 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
revenue performance of the first five months of the year and,
second, to address the low non-oil tax-to-GDP ratio as
compared to peer middle income economies.
71. Specifically, a) GETFund and NHIL were decoupled from the
Input-Output VAT mechanism and converted into straight levies
with rates remaining at 2.5 percent each; b) a Luxury Vehicle
Levy; and c) an additional Personal Income Tax band of income
in excess of GH¢10,000 with 35 percent tax rate.
72. Mr. Speaker, provisional data on Government’s fiscal operations
from January to September 2018, indicates that, domestic
revenues grew by 15.9 percent on an annual basis and reached
GH¢31.7 billion compared to GH¢27.3 billion during the same
period in 2017. However Total Revenue and Grants was 9.5
percent below target. On the other hand, expenditures were
generally lower than programmed although some overruns
were observed on specific expenditure lines including Use of
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51 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Goods and Services and Wages and Salaries. These operations
resulted in a fiscal deficit of 3.0 percent of rebased GDP
compared to a deficit target of 2.6 percent of rebased GDP for
the 9 months.
73. Mr. Speaker, the fiscal deficit was financed from both domestic
and external sources and included a drawdown in government
deposits with the Bank of Ghana. Total Domestic Financing
amounted to GH¢4.2 billion of which net financing from
domestic market operations amounted to GH¢6.5 billion. Total
Net Foreign Financing amounted to GH¢4.9 billion and included
inflows from the issuance of the 2018 Eurobond.
74. Mr. Speaker, the primary balance recorded a surplus of GH¢1.5
billion, 0.5 percent of rebased GDP, albeit lower than the target
of GH¢2.8 billion, 0.9 percent of rebased GDP.
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52 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Petroleum Receipts
75. Mr. Speaker, Government receipts from crude oil liftings for the
first 9 months of 2018, from Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa Gye
Nyame (SGN) fields, amounted to US$604.09 million (GH₵2.72
billion).
76. Mr. Speaker, out of petroleum receipts (i.e. proceeds from
Liftings and other petroleum receipts) of US$723.55 million,
GNPC (the NOC) was allocated a total of US$223.43 million,
comprising Equity Financing Cost (US$149.72 million) and its
share of the net Carried and Participating Interest (US$73.71
million). The ABFA received a total of US$176.33 million, while
the GPFs received US$323.79 million
Public Debt Development
77. Mr. Speaker, the nominal public debt stock as at end September
2018 was GH¢170.8 billion, comprising external and domestic
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53 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
debt of GH¢86.6 billion and GH¢84.1 billion, respectively. The
overall rate of debt accumulation in 2018 is 19.8 percent, driven
primarily by the cost of the clean-up of the financial sector,
involving resolution of the seven (7) defunct banks. The rate of
debt accumulation would have been 11.5 percent without the
clean-up exercise.
78. Mr. Speaker, public debt (including financial sector bailout) as a
percentage of GDP stood at 70.7 percent at the end of
September 2018 compared with 69.2 percent during the same
period in 2017. The public debt stock (excluding the financial
sector clean-up cost) as a ratio of GDP is 66.5 percent. In terms
of the rebased GDP, the public debt to GDP ratio is 57.2 percent
(including financial sector clean-up cost) and 53.9 percent
(excluding clean-up cost).
79. Mr. Speaker, in 2018 we continued the clean-up of a heavily
indebted energy sector. Following the establishment of the ESLA
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54 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
bond programme in 2017, Government has steadily settled over
GH¢5 billion in legacy debts and aged payables towards the goal
of a financially viable and competitive power sector. An audit
exercise is currently underway to validate the aged payables
that were not considered under the ESLA bond. Once confirmed,
government will intervene with a combination of cash and bonds
to pay off the valid debts. This measure will improve the liquidity
position of the energy sector SOEs and ensure long-term
financial viability.
Energy Sector Levies
80. Mr. Speaker, a total amount of GH¢3.5 billion was programmed
to be collected in energy sector levies in 2018. At the end of
September 2018, an amount of GH¢2.3 billion was collected and
lodged into the established, and other, ESLA accounts.
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55 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Energy Sector Bonds
81. Mr. Speaker, from January to August 2018, a re-tap on the 10-
year ESLA bonds was effected with GH¢615.0 million and
GH¢264.0 million respectively, bringing the total value of ESLA
bonds issued to GHC5.8 billion. Energy-sector SOE debts,
amounting to approximately GH¢5.6 billion have been settled to
date from the proceeds.
Petroleum Risk Management
82. Mr. Speaker, the 2018 Budget announced the development of a
petroleum risk management programme to mitigate the
economic impacts of global crude price volatility. In the last
year, a strong recovery in global crude prices has brought to
bear the full brunt of Government’s 2015 price deregulation
policy. The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy, and the NPA
have worked closely over the past months to develop a strategy
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56 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
to reduce volatility in pump prices by limiting consumers’
expenditure against upward price movements.
Partial Securitisation of Mineral Royalties
83. Mr. Speaker, the 2018 Budget announced Government policy of
securitising future mineral royalties to support current
developmental needs. In September, Parliament passed the
Minerals Income Investment Fund Bill into law. The objective is
to hold and manage the equity interests of Government in
mining companies and receive mineral royalties and rents due
Government. Accordingly, the Fund will set up a SPV to raise
funds by way of an Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) through a dual
listing on the Ghana and London Stock Exchanges. Government
expects to raise up to US$750.0 million from the IPO. The
transaction advisors for the IPO have begun work in earnest.
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57 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
2019 AND MEDIUM-TERM MACROECONOMIC TARGETS
84. Mr. Speaker, I turn now to the medium-term macroeconomic
targets.
85. Following our significant achievements in stabilising the
economy, Government will continue to pursue prudent
macroeconomic policies to provide a stable environment for
expanding economic opportunities, and for promoting inclusive
and job-creating growth and development.
86. Mr. Speaker, consistent with the Public Financial Management
Act, 2016 (Act 921), we will pursue our growth objectives
without compromising fiscal consolidation. We will reduce the
fiscal deficit to make the overall debt burden sustainable. We
will pursue prudent monetary and external sector policies to
keep inflation under control and achieve favourable current
account balance to underpin exchange rate stability.
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58 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
87. Mr. Speaker, we have set the following medium term (2019-
2022) macroeconomic targets consistent with our objectives:
● Overall Real GDP to grow at an average of 7.0 percent;
● Non-Oil Real GDP to grow at an average of 6.6 percent;
● Inflation to be within the target band of 8±2 percent;
● Overall fiscal deficit to remain within the fiscal rule of 3-5
percent of GDP;
● The primary balance to be in a surplus of at least 1 percent
of GDP; and
● Gross International Reserves to cover at least 4 months of
imports of goods and services.
88. Mr. Speaker, based on the overall macroeconomic objective of
sustaining and restoring macroeconomic stability and pursuing
inclusive growth, and job-creating programmes, the following
targets have been set for the 2019 fiscal year:
● Overall Real GDP growth of 7.6 percent;
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59 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● Non-Oil Real GDP growth of 6.2 percent;
● End-period inflation of 8.0 percent;
● Fiscal deficit of 4.2 percent of GDP;
● Primary surplus of 1.2 percent of GDP; and
● Gross International Reserves to cover not less than 3.5
months of imports.
89. Mr. Speaker, we now provide details of the medium-term
outlook for the real, fiscal, monetary, and external sectors of
the economy
Real Sector
90. Mr. Speaker, overall GDP is projected to grow by 7.6 percent in
2019 while non-oil GDP is projected to grow at 6.2 percent. In
terms of sectoral growth, the Agriculture Sector is expected to
grow by 7.3 percent, the Industry Sector (9.7 %), and the
Services Sector (6.1 %).
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60 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Fiscal Sector
91. Mr. Speaker, to bolster our resolve to maintain fiscal discipline,
Government will soon submit a bill to this august House with
the main objective of ensuring that the fiscal deficit is capped
at 5 percent of GDP. Additionally, Government will institute a
Fiscal Council to further strengthen fiscal management.
Resource Mobilisation for 2019
92. Mr. Speaker, total revenue and grants for 2019 is estimated at
GH¢58.9 billion, 17.1 percent of the rebased GDP, up from a
projected outturn of GH¢46.8 billion, 15.7 percent of rebased
GDP in 2018.
93. Domestic revenue is estimated at GH¢57.8 billion, representing
an annual growth of 25.5 percent over the projected outturn for
2018. Of this amount, non-oil Tax Revenue will constitute about
74.2 percent of domestic revenue and amount to GH¢42.9
billion. This estimate reflects the impact of expected
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61 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
improvements in tax compliance and reforms in revenue
administration.
94. Non-Tax Revenue, excluding oil, will amount to GH¢6.5 billion
(1.9 percent of GDP) in 2019, equivalent to 11.3 percent of Total
Domestic Revenue. Of this amount, GH¢4.4 billion is expected
to be retained by institutions as internally generated funds
(IGF). In addition, as a result of the IGF capping, an amount of
GH¢282.2 million is expected to be paid into the Consolidated
Fund.
95. Receipts from upstream petroleum activities are projected at
GH¢5.4 billion in 2019, equivalent to 1.6 percent of GDP, and
representing 30.3 percent growth over the projected outturn for
2018.
96. Grants disbursements from Development Partners are
estimated at GH¢1.1 billion, up from the projected outturn of
GH¢773.2 million in 2018.
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62 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Resource Allocation for 2019
97. Mr. Speaker, Total Expenditure (including clearance of Arrears)
is estimated at GH¢73.4 billion, equivalent to 21.3 percent of
GDP, representing a growth of 27.0 percent above the projected
outturn for 2018.
98. Expenditure on Wages and Salaries is forecasted at GH¢19.4
billion representing about 26.5 percent of Total Expenditure.
The wage bill is anticipated to reduce to 5.6 percent of GDP
from the 5.9 percent projected outturn for 2018.
99. Expenditure on Goods and Services is projected at GH¢6.3
billion, representing 1.8 percent of GDP. The annual growth of
38.8 percent reflects a full provision made to cater for the
Government’s priority programmes, including the flagship Free
SHS policy.
100. A total amount of GH¢18.6 billion has been estimated for
Interest Payments of public debt. Of this amount, domestic
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63 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
interest payments will constitute about 77.8 percent and
amount to GH¢14.5 billion.
101. Government in 2019 will continue to implement the Earmarked
Funds Capping and Realignment Act, 2017 (Act 947) to reduce
budget rigidities and create fiscal space to fund growth
enhancing expenditures. In this regard, transfers to Statutory
Funds as well as all other earmarked funds, are estimated at
GH¢13.8 billion, equivalent to 4.0 percent of GDP, compared to
3.5 percent in 2018.
102. Capital Expenditure is projected at GH¢8.5 billion, equivalent to
2.5 percent of GDP and a growth of 55.7 percent over the 2018
projected outturn. Of this amount, domestically financed Capital
Expenditure is estimated at GH¢3.2 billion or 0.9 percent of
GDP. An amount of GH¢5.3 billion has been budgeted for
Foreign Financed Capital Expenditure and this will be funded by
a combination of Project Grants and Loans.
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64 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Budget Balances and Financing Operations for 2019
103. Mr. Speaker, based on the estimates for Total Revenue & Grants
and Total Expenditure, the 2019 fiscal operations will result in
an overall budget deficit of GH¢14.5 billion, equivalent to 4.2
percent of GDP.
104. Financing of the fiscal deficit will be from both domestic and
foreign sources. Net Foreign Financing will amount to GH¢9.7
billion, including a planned sovereign bond issuance of GH¢9.6
billion. Total Domestic Financing is estimated at GH¢4.8 billion.
This will result in a Primary Surplus of 1.2 percent of GDP.
Petroleum Revenue for 2019
105. Mr. Speaker, the Benchmark crude oil price for 2019 has been
projected at US$66.76 per barrel in line with the Petroleum
Revenue Management Act (Amendment), 2015 (PRMA, Act
893). The gas price for 2019 is also projected at US$3.99 per
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65 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
MMBtu. The 2019 Benchmark Revenue crude oil output is 63.4
million barrels (173,764 barrels of oil per day).
106. Mr. Speaker, the Ministry is proposing to this august House to
allow it to exclude gas revenues to the tune of US$181.80
million from the projected petroleum revenues for 2019, as we
devise ways of getting VRA to pay for the gas supplied it by
Ghana Gas. Furthermore, as a measure to minimise the amount
of gas produced in the SGN Field for power production,
Government has decided to postpone the extraction of its share
of the gas resource (Royalties, and Carried and Participating
Interest (CAPI), until such a time that we line up off takers to
consume the gas in-year. These are prudential measures and
should not be misconstrued to mean that the Ministry will not
be pursuing the VRA’s gas bills, as required by the PRMA.
107. Mr. Speaker, if this House grants us this request, the projected
petroleum revenue for 2019 will amount to US$1.1 billion.
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66 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
This is made up of Royalties (US$227.10 million), Carried and
Participating Interest (US$602.80 million), Corporate Income
Tax (US$249.60 million) and Surface Rentals (US$1.10 million).
108. Of this amount, US$404.90 million will be ceded to the NOC for
its Equity Financing Cost (US$320.10 million) and share of the
Net Carried and Participating Interest (US$84.80 million),
US$473.0 million allocated to the Annual Budget Funding
Amount (ABFA), while the GPFs receive US$202.70 million. The
GPFs’ receipts will be distributed between the Ghana
Stabilisation Fund (US$141.90 million) and the Ghana Heritage
Fund (US$60.80 million)
Strategic Pillars of the 2019 Budget
109. Mr. Speaker, consistent with H.E. the President’s vision of
transforming the Ghanaian economy, creating prosperity and
job opportunities for all, and moving us to a Ghana Beyond Aid,
in 2017 and 2018 we launched a number of flagship programs
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67 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
that have yielded significant results. In 2019, Government will
consolidate and build on these programs. Mr. Speaker rather
than the traditional presentation of Sectoral Performance and
Outlook , the rest of my presentation is organised so as to
highlight the key pillars of our 2019 budget, which takes bold
and fundamental steps towards the President’s vision.
110. Mr. Speaker, The Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the
2019 Financial Year provides a detailed account of sectoral
performance in 2018 and outlook for 2019. Here, I focus on 6
strategic pillars that build on the flagship programmes and our
achievements over the past two years. Mr. Speaker, the
strategic pillars of the 2019 budget are:
● Infrastructure;
● Agricultural Modernisation;
● Industrialisation;
● Entrepreneurship;
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68 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● Improving Efficiency in Revenue Mobilisation and
Protecting the Public Purse.
● Social Intervention
INFRASTRUCTURE
111. Mr. Speaker, infrastructure, both hard and soft, is the backbone
of economic development and growth, as well as a source of
jobs and wealth for a majority of people. In a rapidly changing
global marketplace, traditional infrastructure like electricity and
power, transport and logistics, water and sanitation, roads,
highways, and railways have combined with new, mostly soft
infrastructure like digitisation of government services to enable
emerging economies like ours leapfrog the development path to
prosperity.
112. Mr. Speaker, this Government, is committed to embarking on
an integrated infrastructural development programme across
the country that will move goods, food items and people from
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69 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
one location to another that will create jobs and prosperity and
ensure value for money for Ghana as well as position Ghana as
the transportation, energy and logistics hub in the region.
113. Mr. Speaker, to ensure efficient management of infrastructure,
we will soon submit a bill to set up the Ghana Asset
Management Corporation. Mr. Speaker, with your permission I
will like to inform Ghanaians on what we have done so far on
infrastructure and the massive investments commencing in
2019.
114. Mr. Speaker, in 2019, we will invest massively in the
development of road and infrastructure, from a variety funding
sources and the following projects have been identified to
commence in 2019:
Region Project
Ashanti
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70 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Ahiankwanta-Obuasi
Ashanti Datano-Ahokwaa-Suhenso
Ashanti (Bauxite Road) Nyinahene – Awisesu
Ashanti (Bauxite Road) Nyinahene – Kyekyewere
Ashanti Okomfo Anokye – Abuakwa
Ashanti Suame Interchange
Ashanti Oforikrom Interchange
Kumasi Inner City Roads
Ashanti
Manhyia Sub-Metro
Suame Sub-Metro
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71 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Tafo Pankrono Sub-Metro
Asokwa Sub-Metro
Kwadaso Sub-Metro
Oforikrom Sub-Metro
Subin Sub-Metro
Nhyiaeso Sub-Metro
Bantama Sub-Metro
Mampong Inner City Roads
Brong Ahafo
Atebubu – Kwamedanso – Kojokrom –
Riverside
Brong Ahafo Sunyani Inner Ring Road
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72 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Brong Ahafo Sunyani Inner City Roads
Brong Ahafo Tepa Bomaa – Yamfo
Brong Ahafo Berekum Inner City Roads
Brong Ahafo Duayaw – Nkwanta
Brong Ahafo Odumasi – Seikwa Nkwanta
Brong Ahafo Bediako – Kasapi – Camp 15
Eastern Kwabeng – Abomosu – Asuom
Eastern Kwabeng – Akropong
Eastern New Abirem-Ofoase-Akim Oda
Akyem – Ankaase town Roads
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73 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Akyem Fremponso
Mampong – Kofiase
Anwiankwanta – Obuasi
Eastern Kessekrom-Adiembra
Eastern Koforidua Interchange
Eastern Akroso – Asamankese
Western Prestea Inner City Roads
Western Benchema – Adwofia
Western Asankragua – Agona – Sefwi Bekwai
Central Awakrom-Amisano(Ekumfi)
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74 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Central
Twifo Praso -Esikuma- Dunkwa on
Offin
Central
Akotokyir Road
Amamoma Area Roads
Western Abura New Community Area
Cape Coast Polytechnic Road
Western Apawusika Road and Links
Central Agona Swedru Inner City Roads
Central Ankamu – Achiase – Swedru
Central Swedru – Bawjiase – Adeiso
Central
Other Selected Cape Coast Inner City
Roads
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75 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Northern Tamale Interchange
Northern Nalerigu – Bunkpurugu Road
Northern Tamale – Salaga – Bimbilla
Northern Yendi – Tatale
Northern Karaga – Gushegu
Northern and Upper
West Wulugu – Kpasenpke – Wa
Upper West Lawra- Han-Tumu
Upper West Lawra-Dikpe Bridge
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76 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Upper East Tutulega-Sandema-Wiase
Upper East Navrongo -Naga
Volta Jasikan – Dodo Pepesu – Nkwanta
Volta Have – Hohoe
Volta Hohoe Inner City Roads
Accra Inner City Roads
Greater Accra
Taifa-Burkina-Nkatia Burger-Dome-
Kwabenya Mosque
Christo Asafo Area Roads-Taifa
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77 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Pure Water Roads and Links-
Kwabenya
Fan Milk Area Road-Anyaa
Adu Gyamfi Road-Anyaa
Selected Roads in Anyaa
Apostle Sarfo Onyinase Road
Pentecost University Road
Omanjor to Olebu Road
Abease Road to Ablekuma
A lang Area Road-Sowotuom
Race Course Medical Centre Road
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78 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Selected Roads in Gbawe
Nanakrom-Santeo Ashaiman Road
Adenta-Dodowa Road (Dualisation)
Ofanko Hospital Link Road
Abensu Afiama Taxi Road (Trobu)
Israel Junction Sound Foundation-
Blue Gate and Yeboah Street-Nii
Ankraman (Trobu-Amasaman)
Partial Construction of North Ofanko
John Teye Bypass
Partial Construction of Yellow House
and Links (Trobu-Amasaman)
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79 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Partial Construction of
AsofanAmamorle Road and Links
(Trobu-Amasaman)
Poultry Farm Road (Trobu-
Amasaman)
Drainage Construction -Confidence
and Veterinary-South Ofankor
Demo Road (Ledzokuku)
Allowayto Malik Road (Ledzokuku)
Baptist School Area Tebibiano Road
(Ledzokuku)
Sea Lady Road (Ledzokuku)
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80 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Teshie North By Pass Road
(Ledzokuku)
GIBADA Office Complex
115. Mr. Speaker, in line with our commitment to complete projects
commenced under the previous administration, the following
ongoing projects will also be financed:
1 Bridge on the Volta River at Volivo
2 Nsawam – Apedwa Road (Kwafokrom – Apedwa Road)
3 Bolgatanga – Bawku – Polmakom
4 Nkwanta – Oti Damanko Road
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5 Oti Damanko – Nakpanduri Road
6 Berekum – Seikwa Road
7 Enchi – Dadieso Road
8 Dualisation of Ho Main Roads
9 Ho Bypass
10 Kumasi Roads and Drainage Extension Project
116. Mr. Speaker, in addition to the above, in 2019 Government in
partnership with the private sector through PPP arrangements
will undertake various projects including Accra–Takoradi
Highway Dualisation, Accra – Tema Motorway and Accra –
Kumasi Highway Dualisation.
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117. Mr. Speaker, now let me turn my attention to the development
of Railway infrastructure. Government, in 2018, commenced the
rehabilitation of the existing 56 km narrow gauge line from
Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta corridor to restore
passenger rail and freight services for the first time since 2007.
This will be completed in 2019.
118. Mr. Speaker, work also commenced on rehabilitation works on
the 70.8km narrow gauge sections of the Eastern Railway Line
from Accra to Nsawam and Accra to Tema. The Achimota to
Tema section is 90 percent complete and Achimota to Accra
Central and Achimota to Nsawam will be completed by end of
2018. Rehabilitation will continue to Koforidua in 2019.
119. Mr. Speaker, the feasibility studies for the proposed 596km
Greenfield Railway Line from Kumasi to Paga, popularly known
as the Central Spine, has been undertaken. Phase 1 from
Kumasi to Buipe section will commence in 2019.
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120. Mr. Speaker, the following feasibility studies commenced and
will be pursued in 2019:
a. rail link on BOT basis between the Tema Port and
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso;
b. Development of Metro / Light Rail Transit Systems in Accra
and Kumasi such as the recently signed Accra Sky Train
project;
c. Trans-ECOWAS line from Aflao through Cape Coast to
Elubo; and
d. Re-development of the Central Line from Kotoku in the
Greater Accra Region to Huni Valley in the Western Region.
121. Mr. Speaker, the Railway Location Workshop, also at Essikado,
is being modernised and equipped, and will be completed in
2019 to become a one-stop workshop to serve the railway,
mining, petroleum and agricultural industries. We are confident,
2019 will witness the relaunch of the railway system in Ghana.
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122. Mr. Speaker, it is of major concern to Government that in this
day and age, many of our people do not have access to potable
water. As such, under the “Water for All” agenda, we will ensure
the continuous expansion of urban water systems in the
country. Systems to be expanded in 2019 and over the medium
term include the Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project – phase
2, Aqua Africa Water Project, Yendi Water Project, Damongo
Water Project, Wenchi Water Project, Tamale Water Supply
Expansion Project, Sunyani Water Project, Sekondi-Takoradi
Water Project and Essiama Water Project.
123. In 2019, Government will lay 190 km of pipelines across the
country. We will also construct 9 water systems each in the
Northern Region and Central Regions, 5 in Brong-Ahafo Region
and 2 in the Upper West Region. Additionally, Government will
construct 12 fully reticulated small towns pipe systems and 6
limited mechanised systems in the Volta Region.
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85 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
124. Mr. Speaker, as part of the overall strategy to position Ghana
as a transport and logistics hub, Government continued to
develop the port infrastructure through the construction of new
container terminals at the Tema Port to increase container
handling capacity, provide additional berths, reduce waiting
time and ensure quick access to the Port. The first berth with a
depth weight capacity of 16.0 metre is 42 percent complete and
is scheduled to be operational by 2019.
125. Mr. Speaker, to develop the Takoradi Port as an Oil and Gas
hub, Government commenced the development and operation
of an on-dock container multi-purpose terminal with a container
quay of 16-metre draft to accommodate bigger vessels. The first
phase of the Dry Bulk Jetty which involves the construction of
the 600m quay wall was completed. The second phase of an
additional 200m quay wall will commence in 2019.
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86 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
126. Government also facilitated the construction of the Anloga fish
landing site to enhance the productivity of fishers. In addition,
detailed construction designs and Environmental Impact
Assessment studies were completed for landing sites at Teshie,
Axim, Winneba, Mumford and a fishing harbour complex at
James Town. Actual construction on these landing sites as well
as the Phase II of the Anomabo Fisheries College will commence
in 2019.
127. Government has completed the first phase of the Elmina Fishing
Port Rehabilitation and Expansion project which includes
upgrading the existing fishing port as well as the construction
of a new port with a basin area and a quay wall for vessels to
moor and offload. The second phase of the project which will
commence in 2019 will entail the construction new facilities such
as shed for the fish market, fishing net mending and the
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construction of a new slipway for bigger vessels with a boat
refurbishment area.
128. To complement the multi-modal transport system and support
the movement of people and goods within the sub-region, the
Ministry commenced work on the Kumasi Airport Phase II
Project to upgrade it to a real international airport. The works
include extension of the runway from the current 1,981 metres
to 2,300 metres, construction of new terminal building to handle
1 million passengers per year and other ancillary works. The
project is expected to be 30 percent complete by the end of
2018. Implementation will continue in 2019.
129. Mr. Speaker, work on Tamale Airport Phase II received
regulatory approvals for the construction of a new Terminal
building and will serve the Sahelian region. In 2019, the contract
agreement will be finalised, and construction works
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commenced. The project is expected to be 65 percent complete
by the end of 2019.
130. Finally, Mr. Speaker, Cabinet has given approval for the
establishment of a Home-Based Airline with private sector
participation to provide regional and inter-continental services
for efficient movement of people, goods and services as well as
promote tourism. Strategic investors will be engaged, and the
airline is expected to commence operations in 2019.
131. Mr. Speaker, to address the inadequate health facilities that
continue to bedevil our fellow Ghanaians, Government has:
a. received Parliamentary approval for a USD50m loan to
complete Phase II of the University of Ghana Medical
School which is awaiting the conclusion of a Value for
Money audit;
b. converted the Ho Regional Hospital to a teaching hospital;
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89 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
c. commenced the process for upgrading the Hohoe
Municipal Hospital to a Regional Hospital.
d. will construct a total of 15 CHPS compounds; 2 in Greater
Accra Region, 5 in Brong-Ahafo Region, 2 in Ashanti
Region, 3 in Eastern Region and 3; and
e. will construct 1 District Hospital and 5 Polyclinics in
Western Region and equip 4 selected facilities at Aburi,
Kyebi, Atibie and Mampong.
132. Mr. Speaker, structural work on the new 500-bed military
hospital at Afari, near Kumasi, is about 65 percent complete,
and full completion expected in 2019. In 2019, work will also
start on the 3rd phase of the 37 Military Hospital project in
Accra.
133. Mr. Speaker, to boost housing supply and strengthen coastal
protection, Government will continue to work on several
projects, such as the Saglemi Housing project, where 4,100 of
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5,000 homes will be completed in 2019, and the Cape Coast,
Anomabo and Anyanui-Keta coastal protection works.
Government Affordable Housing Project at Asokore-Mampong
for 1,030 housing units is 90 percent complete.
134. As announced in the 2018 Budget statement, work has been
completed for the start of the pilot phase of the Mortgage and
Housing Finance Market Scheme in November 2018. An amount
of GH¢40m has been released for the pilot phase which will
leverage additional private sector funds of GH¢40m from
pensions, insurance and collective investment schemes through
selected commercial banks. Mr. Speaker, a vibrant mortgage
and housing finance ecosystem is key for social equity,
economic development and job creation.
135. To scale up this initiative in 2019, Government had committed
to a GH¢1 billion mortgage and housing finance fund which will
be seeded with a minimum of GH¢100m every fiscal year over
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the next 5 years. This effort will support private sector in
expanding access to housing and deepen the local mortgage
and construction finance market. The focus on fixing the
financial system to support home-ownership by large segment
of the populace is critical in government effort to enter into a
social compact with labour.
136. Government through SHC is looking to partner with private
sector developers to deliver housing across the country in every
region and to complete all the uncompleted housing projects
across the country.
137. By encouraging the delivery of more homes under a variety of
demand driven initiatives, such as lower mortgage interest
rates, rent-to-own schemes, dedicated income deductions for
home ownership, and lowering the cost of home delivery; we
can create a housing market that works for everyone, meeting
the diverse housing needs of our country.
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92 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
138. Mr. Speaker, a total of 50 units of townhouses and 24 units of
flats at Roman Ridge will be completed by the end of the year
for Public and Civil Servants under the Redevelopment
Programme. Starting in 2019 and over the medium-term, about
200,000 housing units of various types will commence in all the
regional capitals of the country towards reducing the national
housing deficit.
139. To mitigate accommodation and housing deficit in the military,
the Government continued the SSNIT Housing Projects at
various Garrisons in Accra, Tema, Ho, Tamale and Sekondi
Takoradi, and expects completion in 2019. The first phase of
the four 16 units Housing Projects under the Barracks
Regeneration Project will be completed and commissioned
before the end of this year, and the second phase will
commence in 2019. The second phase of the Security Agencies
Housing Project comprising 368 housing units for the Ghana
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Navy has been completed. The Phase III comprising 320
housing units for the Ghana Police Service has commenced and
will continue in 2019.
140. Mr. Speaker, in connecting Ghana through digitisation and
communication, Government established 400 telephony sites to
provide voice signals to 2,000 unserved communities to bridge
the digital divide and ensure nationwide coverage by 2020. In
2019, government will deploy an additional 600 telephony sites
to provide voice signals to 1800 communities where coverage is
limited or non-existent due to the inability of existing license
operators to expand their networks.
141. The construction of the ICT Technology Park to provide multitenant
infrastructure at Dawa through a PPP arrangement is
ongoing and is expected to be completed in 2019.
142. Mr. Speaker, a Concessionaire has been selected to assume
responsibility of ECG’s core business of power distribution and
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shall be required to invest half a billion dollars in the network to
improve efficiency and reduce commercial and technical losses.
143. Mr. Speaker, the rural electrification programme will be
continued in 2019 using electrical conductors and cables,
exclusively from local manufacturing companies. The move is to
support the local manufacturing industry and boost
employment.
144. Government undertakes to complete the extension of electricity
to the whole country and is committed to work with local banks
and entrepreneurs that are ready to invest in the energy sector.
145. Mr. Speaker, in line with our belief in investing in human capital,
education is about to witness the largest capital expenditure in
the sector for any single year in the last 50 years. Government
will continue to ensure that these investments lead to an
increase.
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146. Government has presented to Parliament, a proposal to secure
up to US$1.5 billion long-term financing for GETFUND on the
back of a portion of VAT receivables as prescribed in Act 581,
and which will be issued in three (3) tranches of US$500.00
million. This will be used for critical education infrastructure,
especially to complete the numerous uncompleted buildings in
secondary and tertiary institutions around the country.
147. Mr. Speaker, in 2019 government will commence work to
upgrade 10 Technical Universities /Polytechnics and 13
Technical Institutes with modern equipment and also train
selected lecturers of these institutions.
148. To further develop the TVET sub-sector, we will commence the
construction of 20 state-of-the-art TVET Centres as well as
upgrade and retool 34 Vocational Training Institutes in 2019. In
addition, two new centres in foundry and machining will be
constructed.
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149. Mr. Speaker, as part of its drive to promote Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education
across all levels, Government will in 2019 roll out the BSTEM
programme in 7,000 basic schools across the country; construct
10 STEM Centres; initiate the development of a knowledge
cloud to make educational materials content accessible to all;
and provide multimedia laboratories as well as internet
connectivity to cover many more schools.
150. Mr. Speaker, in 2018, Government also cut-sod for the
construction of a multi-purpose Youth Resource Centres in
every region of the country. Construction work has started at all
the sites and are at various levels of completion. The centres
will provide space for youth engagement, recreation, centres of
learning and sports.
151. Mr. Speaker, Under the Zongo Development Fund, five Astro
turfs (with spectator stands and dressing rooms) were
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constructed at Madina, Kyebi and Walewale. In addition, five
recreational parks were completed for use at Bolgatanga,
Salaga, Yeji, Tafo-Kumasi and Akim Oda.
152. Mr. Speaker, in addition to the several projects in agricultural
warehouses, dams and dugouts, supply of ambulances, building
of water and sanitation facilities, and markets, in 2019, IPEP,
through the Development Authorities, will go into full drive in
the supply and delivery of constituency-specific Infrastructure,
including drainage systems, footbridges, renovation of schools,
community town centres, reshaping of roads, among others.
153. National Cathedral: Mr. Speaker, on March 6, 2017 – the 60th
year of our independence – the President cut the sod for the
construction of a National Christian Cathedral for the country
that will provide the space for national events of a religious
nature. A National monument, the Cathedral will house
impressive chapels and baptistery, 5000-seat main auditorium,
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expandable to 15000 people for national events and
celebrations. It will include among others, a grand central hall,
a music school, and will house Africa’s first-ever Bible Museum
and documentation centre, The National Cathedral project will
also bequeath to the country a gracious national park for all
Ghanaians; bring new skills, technology and jobs to the country;
and will act as a beacon to national, regional and international
tourists. Mr Speaker, the state is facilitating this process by
providing the land, the Secretariat, and seed money for the
preparatory phase.
154. Mr. Speaker, the President is determined that the building of
the National Cathedral would not put undue financial burdens
on the state. He has therefore proposed a partnership between
the State and the Ghanaian Christian community both at home
and in the Diaspora. The formal launch of this national
fundraising campaign is slated for December 28, 2018 in Ghana,
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and February 2019 in the United States. This National Cathedral
partnership framework operationalizes, and indeed is a practical
expression, of the social partnership envisaged to foster
participatory development of country as our collective goal.
155. Mr. Speaker, the Creative Arts Industry Bill is now in Parliament
for deliberation and passage into Law. The Creative Arts Fund
is incorporated in the Bill to ensure the economic viability of the
Creative Arts Sector in the economy. In addition, Government
in 2019, will pursue the passing of a Legislative Instrument to
establish a Secretariat for the National Film Authority” and will
also facilitate the construction of an ultra-modern Film
Production Studio to attract the international film community.”
156. To commemorate the 400 years of slavery, a delegation led by
His Excellency, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
went to the USA to declare 2019 as the YEAR OF RETURN in
September this year. The Ghana Tourism Authority is leading
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100 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
this campaign that will see a great number of African Diaspora
from the United States of America, the Caribbean and the United
Kingdom return to Ghana on a pilgrimage to promote heritage
tourism in 2019.
157. Mr. Speaker, in 2019, the Government will support the
Development Authorities to deliver the following projects:
o The Northern Development Zone will benefit from the
construction of 20 irrigation dams to support all year round
farming, 15 warehouses for storage of grains and cereals;
200 culverts; rehabilitation of 200km of farm roads; 170
tricycles to transport shea-nuts; 85 new 6-unit classroom
blocks with ancillary facilities; renovation of 114 classroom
blocks and provision of 162 units of motor tricycle
ambulances and 28 rural health centres.
o The Middle Belt Development Zone will also implement the
following projects: Construction of 30 small town water
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system; 300 culverts; establishment of 33 industrial
enclaves; 30 small town markets; 15 small irrigation dams;
15 warehouses; rehabilitation of 300km farm access roads;
establishment of 18 agriculture and business incubation
centres and 30 community development centres.
o In the Coastal Development Zone, the following projects
will also be delivered: the establishment of 10 agricultural
centres; four fish and shrimp farming enclaves; provision
of street lights; construction of 10 small town water
systems; 100 culverts; and provision of 200,000 school
furniture. In addition, the four regions (Volta, Greater
Accra, Central, Western Regions) within the zone will
benefit from the construction of 20 teachers’ quarters; 20
small bridges; five drainage systems; four waste recycling
plants; 10 Rural Health Centres; and rehabilitation of 300
km farm roads and feeder roads.
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Youth and Sports
158. Mr. Speaker, sports continue to be one of the key unifying
factors in our country, bringing all of us together as one
irrespective of our differences. I am pleased to announce Mr.
Speaker that Ghana is currently hosting the Confederation of
African Football Women’s Nations Cup and we have also won
the bid to host the 2023 All African Games. Mr. Speaker, the
Accra Sports Stadium has been renovated after a decade of
neglect; finally, sports loving Ghanaians can go to the stadium
and safely watch their favourite teams play. Government has
additionally invested in 10 youth and sports centres of
excellence in each of the 10 regions of Ghana which are at
various stages of completion.
Agricultural Modernisation
159. Mr. Speaker, 34 percent of our workforce is in agriculture.
Therefore, if we can raise productivity and incomes in
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agriculture, we can positively impact the lives of millions of
Ghanaians. Expanded and reliable production of agricultural
produce will form a very important base for our industrialisation
drive, create modern jobs, expand our exports, and reduce the
amount of foreign exchange we spend on food imports.
160. Following a year of implementation of the Planting for Food and
Jobs (PFJs) Programme, the agricultural sector witnessed a
growth rate of 8.4 percent in 2017. This was after almost a
decade of erratic sector performance with an average growth
rate of 3.4 percent.
161. On account of this massive success, Government implemented
an expanded version of the PFJ in 2018 with more ambitious
targets. Compared with a target of 500,000 farmers, a total of
577,000 farmers were supplied with subsidised fertilisers and
seeds for the 2018 cropping season and we expect another
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highly successful year. In 2019, we plan to expand the program
to cover a million farmers.
162. In 2019, Government will launch the livestock model of Planting
for Food and Jobs called “Rearing for Food and Jobs” (RFJ) with
the objective of increasing the production of selected livestock,
especially poultry.
163. Mr. Speaker, we believe we can leverage the PFJ and RFJ
programmes and our other efforts in agriculture to reduce our
large food imports. As a country, we spend over $2 billion every
year importing food. For example, we import over a billion
dollars of rice, $ 320 million of sugar, and $374 million of
poultry. Most of these we could produce here; creating jobs and
saving foreign exchange. It is therefore a key goal of
Government to replace a significant fraction of these imports
with domestic production in the medium term.
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164. Mr. Speaker, in the case of rice, the strategy is to increase
volumes through increased yields of rice by expanding
production areas in irrigated schemes, valleys and low lands
around the country. This strategy will be underpinned by
making available to farmers, improved and certified seeds,
subsidized fertilizers, enhanced access to mechanized
harvesters to reduce post-harvest losses due to traditional
labour-intensive threshing, and encourage private sector
investment in milling facilities. This will ensure that the quality
of locally processed rice will be at par with imported rice.
165. In the case of poultry, about 70 percent of the cost of
production comes from feed, which in turn is primarily
determined by the cost and availability of maize and soya bean.
So, in order to bring down the cost of feed and make poultry
production in the country competitive, the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture is working on a programme to sustainably boost
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soybean production in the country through the provision of
improved and certified seeds, subsidized fertilizers and harvest
equipment to reduce field losses.
166. Mr. Speaker, adequate good storage for agricultural produce is
a challenge that we must address to avoid a situation where the
increased agricultural production arising from our support to
farmers ends up going to waste. In 2019, Government expects
to increase its warehouse storage capacity by around 80,000
metric tons.
167. Mr. Speaker, world cocoa prices remain low after declining by
about a third in the 2017/2018 season. Despite the significant
decline, Government maintained the producer price at
GH¢7,600.00 per tonne to ensure that farmers did not suffer
loss of income and purchased 904,000 metric tonnes of cocoa
in the 2017/18 season. This season, Government maintained
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the producer price at GH¢ 7,600.00 per tonne and plans to
purchase 900,000 tonnes.
168. We need to add value to our cocoa output. Ghana and our
neighbour Cote D’Ivoire produce around 60 percent of the
world’s cocoa. But we earn only $6 billion of the world cocoa
value chain earnings of $125 billion—just about 5 percent.
Through the Ghana-Cote D’Ivoire Cocoa Initiative, Government
is working on several fronts to increase the value that we gain
from our cocoa. They include: vigorously promoting both
domestic and international cocoa consumption; and initiatives
for market expansion for exports of cocoa products to Asia; and
provision of incentives to the private sector to set up cocoa
processing factories.
169. Mr. Speaker, we have as part of our strategy to revamp the
agricultural sector also placed focus on the tree crop subsector.
I am pleased to announce that Cabinet has approved the
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formation of a Tree Crop Development Authority (GTCDA) to
regulate and create a favourable environment for the growth
and development of that sector. The Authority will initially
regulate the cashew, shea nut butter, oil palm and rubber crop
sub-sectors in Ghana with other tree crops added as and when
necessary. The technical committee constituted to lead this, has
commenced work and is expected to submit a draft bill for
Parliament’s consideration at the end of the 1st quarter 2019.
170. In addition to the efforts under the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture, our One-Village-One-Dam project under our IPEP
programme, which provides dams and dugout irrigation
schemes, will help expand agricultural production, particularly
in the North. In 2019, we will continue the construction of the
570 small dams and dugouts under IPEP.
171. I am pleased to inform this august House that, President Nana
Akufo-Addo launched “The Ghana Commodity Exchange” with
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the state-of-the-art trading system linked to warehouses
located in rural communities” on November 6, 2018. The
Exchange, as a new pillar of the financial system, will promote
private sector investment in industry and agriculture sectors. It
is the first in West Africa and one of three in Africa and will
establish linkages between Agricultural Commodity producers
and buyers; to secure competitive prices for their products; to
assure the market quantity and quality of products; and timely
settlement of trade. This is to support the Government of
Ghana’s drive to promote agriculture through the “Planting for
Food and Jobs & One District one factory”. The associated
warehouse receipts can also develop into a tradable security
and we are hopeful our financial system will take up that
initiative.
172. Mr. Speaker, to help manage the risks in agriculture and
stimulate private sector lending to the agricultural sector,
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Government is establishing the Ghana Incentive Base Risk
Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL). An amount
of GH¢400 million with an additional funding of US$14.0 million
from the AfDB has been set aside to operationalise GIRSAL in
2019. GIRSAL aims to provide guarantees to promote
commercial bank lending to the agricultural sector.
Industrialisation
173. Mr. Speaker, our industrialisation efforts are aimed mainly on at
adding value to our agricultural produce and natural resources,
and on leveraging our comparative advantage based on our
growing and increasingly educated youthful population.
174. We will support the development of agro-processing mainly
through the One-District-One-Factory Programme, taking
advantage of the increased agricultural production engendered
by the PFJ and RFJ programmes. By the end of the year, a total
of 79 factories, in 9 regions of the country, will be at various
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stages of construction or operation under the 1D1F scheme.
Many of the supported factories are processing our agricultural
produce into ready-to-consume forms that have previously
largely been imported. In 2019, the scheme will continue to
partner with private financial institutions to fund more factories
and expand the geographic reach of the programme. In
particular, 1D1F will support feed mills and chicken processing
facilities in the poultry industry.
175. On adding value to our natural resources, our main focus will
be on leveraging our huge bauxite resources to develop a
comprehensive aluminium industry and also starting
development of a PetroChemicals industry to add value to our
oil and gas output.
176. Mr. Speaker, Ghana has long produced aluminium at VALCO,
but imports the alumina – the middle step between bauxite and
aluminium. To remove this anomaly, Government is
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spearheading the establishment of the Ghana Integrated
Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC). GIADEC will
identify strategic partners for the extraction and refining of our
bauxite reserves, creating an integrated aluminium industry.
177. Mr. Speaker, in line with this vision, VALCO will next year fully
run two out of its five pot lines to increase output from 40,000
to 80,000 tons with associated revenue of US$160 million. This
output will represent 40 percent utilisation of the 200,000-ton
per annum installed capacity of the smelter – enough to, at
least, break-even and to serve as an off-taker alumina from the
GIADEC down the line. Government will also restructure VALCO
to bring in private sector participation.
178. We exported over $2.8 billion worth of crude oil in 2017, but
still imported $1.7 billion of refined petroleum products such as
petrol. Government will in 2019 begin the groundwork for the
establishment of a petrochemicals hub. The hub will process our
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gas into petrochemical products, including fertilizer, for the
domestic and West African sub-regional markets. This will be
accomplished by developing major infrastructure for refining,
discharging, storing, distributing, and trading petroleum
products.
179. Mr. Speaker, Government will provide further support for
industrialization, through the One Region One Park Programme.
Government will be partnering with the private sector through
PPPs to develop a number of industrial parks, including the
Greater Kumasi Industrial City and a Special Economic Zone,
which will cover 5,000 acres, and incorporate the inland port at
Boankra.
180. Over the past 2 years, Government has laid strong foundations
for industrialisation through critical infrastructure investments
and industrial programmes such as the One District One Factory
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(1D1F) programme, and the stimulus package for distressed
industrial businesses.
181. Mr. Speaker, in 2018, Government worked with private
financers to provide additional support for industrialisation
through the stimulus package for distressed industrial
businesses. In 2018, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and
the participating financial institutions, disbursed GH¢ 227 million
to several companies. Additional companies are under
consideration for this programme in 2019.
182. Mr. Speaker, in addition to these, Government will further
pursue industrialisation along a 10-point plan that prioritises key
industrial sub sectors for investment. These include: automotive
and vehicle assembly; pharmaceuticals; garments and textiles;
vegetable oils and fats; industrial starch; industrial chemicals
including fertiliser; iron and steel. Government has already
signed MOUs with 3 automobile companies: Volkswagen,
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Nissan, and Sinotruk, towards the establishment of assembly
plants in Ghana.
183. Additionally, the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration
with the Government of Poland under the African-Polish
Cooperation Framework will benefit from a US$100 million
concessionary credit facility to establish an assembly and
manufacturing plant for tractors, and modern agricultural
equipment and machinery, for both the Ghanaian and ECOWAS
markets. This will support the Government’s Industrial
Transformation Agenda particularly in respect of rural
industrialization.
184. The 1D1F programme is a key pillar of agro-industrialisation.
Many of the supported factories are processing our agricultural
produce into ready-to-consume forms that have previously
largely been imported. We will continue to scale the
programme’s impact: in 2019, 1D1F will enhance the PFJ and
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RFJ efforts in poultry by ensuring that there are feed mills and
chicken processing facilities to industrialise the value chain.
185. Ghana used to have a textile industry that employed around 30,
000 people, but in recent years the industry has fallen on hard
times, and now the number employed is only around 5,000. It
is Government’s aim to help revive this industry, which could be
a big source of employment. So, in order to curtail smuggling
and counterfeiting, which have been undermining the industry,
we will extend the tax stamp policy to the textile products.
Further, to make industry price-competitive, Government will
zero-rate VAT on the supply of locally made textiles for a period
of three years.
186. Mr. Speaker, work on the establishment of a National
Development Bank to focus on industry and agriculture
progressed steadily in 2018. A technical committee appointed
by Government has completed its work and has proposed,
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among others, that the institution should be set up as a
completely new institution. Government has accepted the
recommendations and set-up a project team to operationalise
the recommendations in order to launch the bank in 2019.
187. Supports to Textile Industry: Mr. Speaker, in order to curtail
smuggling and counterfeiting in the textile industry, it is
proposed that the tax stamp policy be extended to the textile
industry. The local textile industry is further faced with high cost
of production which have resulted in high prices at the retail
level. In order to support the local industry and make them
price-competitive, Government proposes to zero-rate VAT on
the supply of locally made textiles for a period of three years.
188. Support for Renewable Energy: Mr. Speaker, Government
will encourage and promote Ghanaian participation in the
renewable energy sector with focus on assembling and
manufacturing. The ministries of Finance and Energy will
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collaborate and present proposals for incentives for
consideration by this House.
AGENDA 2030 FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
189. Mr. Speaker, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is
expected to address the three interconnected elements of
sustainable development; economic development, social
inclusion and environmental sustainability and calls for
deliberate steps to ensure that Ghana will be fully Agenda 2030
compliant, leading to the accelerated and transformative
general wellbeing of every Ghanaian. As Co-Chair of the UN
Eminent Group of SDG Advocates, His Excellency the President
is keen to ensure that Ghana leads the way in achieving Agenda
2030 through developing policies that promote sustainability.
190. Among other green initiatives, we will, in 2019, work with the
Ministry of Energy, to introduce tax free solutions for Full
Electrical Vehicles in order to promote a technology shift from
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fossil fuel based vehicles, which is a major global source of
climate change gasses, and from diesel vehicles which is a
significant source for local air pollution and poses significant
health challenges to our people. Globally, Mr. Speaker, cities
such as Hamburg, Oslo and London are introducing car and
diesel free zones, to improve quality of life. The UK, India,
France, and other countries are planning a ban on the sale of
new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030. A successful
transition will require a Public-Private partnership in installing
necessary infrastructure for electrical charging. Mr. Speaker,
Ghana cannot be left behind to become the dumping site for
environmentally harmful products. We must be bold in
developing policies that embrace these technological shifts.
191. Mr Speaker, plastic waste continues to be a major challenge in
the area of sanitation. To address this, the Ministry of
Environment, Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI) is in
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the process of finalizing a new National Plastic Waste Policy,
which will focus on strategies to promote reduction, reuse and
recycling. I urge our industrial sector to work with us to come
up with alternative eco-friendly products from our natural
resources.
192. The Integrated E-waste Management program has been
launched and will, among other things, ensure the management
of E-waste in an environmental sound manner and turn the
challenges of e-waste management in Ghana into green
business opportunities.
193. The program will lead to the creation of over 20,000 direct jobs
through the establishment of a national e-waste recycling
facility, associated holding centres in each regional capital and
collection centres in each of the 216 districts.
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Private Sector & Entrepreneurship Development
194. Mr. Speaker, our economic transformation agenda continues to
have the private sector at its core and we have in the past 22
months built the fundamental structures to support a buoyant
and flourishing private sector. We have provided a stable
macroeconomic environment with interest rates averaging
27.49 percent, improved access to credit with credit to the
private sector increasing by 13.0 percent (GH¢4.7 billion)
compared with 7.9 percent (GH¢2.6 billion) in September 2017,
ensured stability in exchange rates and stabilized electricity
supply, reducing the per kw/h charge to industries.
195. We are resolved to do more to support the private sector. This
is in recognition of the fact that, a thriving private sector means
more job opportunities for our youth, more tax for Government
and ultimately, a buoyant and prosperous economy. We will
continue with our prudent economic management in order to
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ensure an even more stable environment for private sector
growth in 2019.
196. Mr. Speaker, this Government continues to improve the
attractiveness of Ghana as an investment destination. Our
efforts to improve the business environment are being
recognised. Ghana’s ranking on the World Bank Ease of Doing
Business report rose 6 places from 120 to 114 out of 190
countries, and we maintained our status as the highest ranked
West-African nation.
197. In 2019, the Ministry of Trade will prioritize and fast-track the
implementation of the Business Regulatory Reform programme
including the Legislative and Administrative reforms to further
improve Ghana’s performance in the Doing Business Index. In
addition, an online Electronic Registry will be launched in 2019.
It will document all business-related laws, regulations,
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administrative notices, procedures and fees. This will provide
open and transparent access to business regulations in Ghana.
198. We continue to achieve marked success in our investment
promotion drive. As at September, this year, the Ghana
Investment Promotion Centre had registered 93 percent of its
target of 126 businesses with foreign participation for the year.
These businesses represented US$ 2.0 billion of Foreign Direct
Investment, and in 2019 the Centre is aiming to register 130
new businesses with foreign participation, attracting FDI of
US$2.3 billion.
199. Mr. Speaker, attracting foreign direct investment into our
country is critical for growth and regional competitiveness. To
make the country more attractive for FDI, Government intends
to make Ghana a member of the Africa Trade Insurance Agency.
This will provide opportunities for investors to benefit from
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investment, trade and political risk insurance when investing in
the country.
200. This membership will also lessen the request for sovereign
guarantee by some institutional investors from government, as
they now have the option to access risk cover through the ATI.
Government has approved this initiative and the membership
treaty is before Parliament for ratification. As part of the
Compact with Africa, Government has secured a grant of
US$18.4m from kfw to pay for our shares.
201. In addition, GIPC registered 47 wholly-owned Ghanaian
businesses this year, with an estimated value of GH¢ 716
million, and aims to increase this to 52 businesses worth GH¢
787 million in 2019.
202. Mr. Speaker, our Government is also deepening our regional
and global trade links, and believes increased trade is a means
to boost industry and economic growth in Ghana and across the
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continent. To this end, in March, Ghana signed the African
Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which seeks to
create a single market for goods and services in Africa.
Parliament has ratified the agreement.
203. Mr. Speaker, the National Board for Small Scale Industries
(NBSSI), with support from the Rural Enterprise Programme
(REP), assisted 1,078 Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) to
access institutional credit whilst 2,259 training programmes
were organized for 45,022 MSEs. In 2019, NBSSI will complete
the construction of 67 Business Resources Centres (BRCs) in
various districts. In addition, an in-house Business Incubator is
to be established, and 94 Business Advisory Centres (BACs)
upgraded.
204. Mr. Speaker, in 2018, GRATIS Foundation continued to execute
its mandate of providing training to the youth in various
engineering and processing fields. Out of 471 youth, 43 were
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trained in metal machining, 224 in welding and fabrication as
well as 204 in motor vehicle technology. In addition, 137
students from engineering institutions on attachment were
trained while 4 master craftsmen received training.
205. In addition, GRATIS manufactured 86 agro-processing
equipment, including equipment for processing grains and
cereals; shea nut, groundnuts; cassava and oil palm. In
addition, GRATIS undertook 1,763 repair and maintenance, and
spare parts manufacturing activities.
206. In 2019, GRATIS will complete the construction of 5 new Rural
Technology Facilities (RTFs). This will add to the existing stock
of 26 RTFs to support rural industrialization, including 1D1F.
207. Mr. Speaker, a very important part of our modernization of
agriculture is to attract some of our youth to go into farming
and related agricultural value-chain activities. To this end, the
Ministry of Food and Agriculture is piloting a Youth in Agriculture
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programme in seven regions, which involves a nucleusoutgrower
scheme in rice, maize and soybean. Through a
Greenhouse programme, at Dawhenya, Government is also
creating opportunities for our youth to get into agriculture while
also boosting the production and supply of vegetables to reduce
imports and provide the opportunity for exports. The
programme is being expanded to two regions, Central and
Ashanti Region and will be operational at the end of 2019.
208. Mr. Speaker, under the National Entrepreneurship and
Innovation Support Programme, 7,000 entrepreneurs were
trained and 1,350 successful entrepreneurs who presented
innovative and bankable business plans were provided with
financial support. It is expected that each of these
entrepreneurs will create a minimum of two jobs, totalling at
least 2,700 direct jobs. In 2019, another set of 10,000
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entrepreneurs will be trained and financial support will be
provided to about 2,000 beneficiaries.
MICROFINANCE & SMALL LOANS CENTRE (MASLOC)
209. For both 2017 and 2018, the Akufo-Addo government tasked
MASLOC to focus more on strengthening the capacity of this
important financial services centre to manage the funds it
controls and disburses, rather than expecting more money to
be simply thrown at it. This was mainly informed by the
unprofessional and wasteful manner that the centre was ran
before 2017. The centre also had a very bad recovery rate
that made it unsustainable.
210. We are happy to say that the measures put in place since
2017 are yielding results. The new MASLOC has significantly
strengthened its recovery rate to over 85%.
211. Government is fully aware of the strategic role MASLOC can
play in extending cheaper, small credit to small businesses in
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districts nationwide. It is with this in mind that a total
of GH¢200 million will be allocated to the programme in 2019.
212. Government is determined to see MASLOC grow in order to
help more and more individuals and groups undertaking small
scale enterprises. But the only way this can be achieved is if
we respect the culture of paying back what is borrowed.
Improving Revenue Mobilisation and Protecting the Public
Purse
213. Mr. Speaker, in our drive towards Ghana Beyond Aid, it is
imperative that we significantly increase domestic revenue,
raise efficiency in the use of public resources, and protect the
public purse from leakages.
Responsible Citizenship
214. Mr. Speaker, citizenship goes with responsibilities and as we
strive to propel Ghana beyond Aid, we need to find innovative
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ways to widen our tax net and to bring in the huge informal
sector.
215. Mr. Speaker, we as Ghanaians need to engage in a social
compact with Government whereby, we all play a role. A
partnership where Government makes a commitment to provide
the citizenry with basic social interventions and services to
improve the livelihood or our people and to educate our youth
who are Ghana’s future. In exchange, Government expects the
citizenry to play their part by registering for TIN numbers,
paying their taxes, keeping their environment clean, reducing
waste and being their brother’s keeper.
216. Mr. Speaker, Government will then broaden the tax net by
Simplifying payment of taxes through different routes under the
guidance of GRA include the elimination of paying for
Government services with cash, Requiring that citizens show
their TIN before accessing social services like free health care
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under the National Health Insurance Program, free secondary
school education under the Free SHS program beginning in
September 2019 and other services like vehicle licensing and
registration, passport services, banking service as well as mobile
money services.
217. Giving all persons and entities regardless of residence status an
opportunity to honour their moral tax obligations that justify
their access to public goods.
218. In 2019, Government will focus its revenue mobilization efforts
on reforming our revenue institutions, intensifying compliance
measures and broadening the tax net. We will further
accompany these with some reliefs in 2019.
Tax Reliefs
219. Review of the Income Tax Band: Government in the midyear
review introduced an additional personal income tax band
of GH¢10,000 and above per month at a rate of 35 percent. We
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have listened to the feedback from the public and come to the
conclusion that some relief from this tax measure is justified.
Accordingly, Government proposes to review this band to
impact monthly income above GH¢20,000 at a rate of 30
percent. Mr. Speaker, we will bring the necessary changes to
this august house to be legislated.
220. Relief from Tax for Minimum Wage Earners: In view of the
recent wage increases, wages around minimum wage levels
have become partly taxable. In keeping with government
commitment to lighten the tax burden of wage earners at the
lower levels of the wage ladder, minimum wage will attract no
income tax.
221. Withholding Tax on Small Scale Mining: To simplify the
collection of withholding tax for both small scale mining
operators and tax authorities, the point of collection of the tax
will be shifted to the point of export. Mr Speaker, in the bill to
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effect this, the exact details of the new arrangement and the
benefits to both small scale mining operators and other industry
operators will be clearly captured.
222. Reform of Revenue Institutions: The Ghana Revenue
Authority has come a long way from the amalgamation of the
three revenue agencies, VAT Service, Internal Revenue Service
and the Customs Excise and Preventive Service, to the unified
tax authority we have today. Almost a decade along this
journey, it is time to take a closer look at the institution and to
retool it for the critical task of mobilizing revenue to finance
improvements in the lives of our people.
223. To achieve this, important changes will be made to both the
management and personnel of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
These interventions will seek to improve the quality of the
leadership of GRA and boost the performance, responsiveness
and work ethics of the entire GRA workforce. The rigorous
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performance management tools we have started deploying will
be driven to the end.
224. Irregularities and revenue leakages arising out of the dishonest
behaviour of revenue officers will be addressed frontally. And
Mr. Speaker, Government will make it regular practice to
prosecute offending revenue officers for criminal collusion with
unscrupulous tax payers. In this, we will be resolute.
225. Mr. Speaker, Government will deploy similar strategies towards
the National Lotteries Authority. For a long time, NLA has
underperformed its potential. The reforms of lotteries in Ghana
that started more than a decade ago have not yielded the
expected outcomes. There is the need for re-awakening. As a
start, we have initiated steps for a full and comprehensive
technical audit of the NLA. Once this has been completed,
government will pursue changes (similar to what has been
mentioned in respect of GRA) for both management and
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personnel of the National Lotteries Authority. In this again, we
will be resolute.
226. Intensified Tax Compliance: Mr. Speaker, tax evasion is a
crime. Deliberate undervaluation of import values, the exwarehousing
of imports from the bonded warehouses without
prior payment of customs taxes, the suppression of sales, the
non-issuance of VAT receipts for registered VAT businesses, the
diversions of goods cleared as transit goods into the domestic
market, and many other irregularities are all crimes. In 2019,
we treat these offences for what they really are: crimes that
must prosecuted.
227. In respect of tax debt recovery, we have already prepared files
to enable us to bring legal action against big tax defaulters. We
will use various distress actions to retrieve tax liabilities from tax
payers who have a habit of defaulting on their tax obligations.
Mr. Speaker, in this, there will be no sacred cows.
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228. Additionally, we will speed up the implementation of various
automated systems to reduce human involvement in tax
administration. These include Electronic Devices to deepen VAT
penetration, the Excise Tax Stamp Policy, the harmonization of
the automated systems at our ports of entry, and other key
systems the implementation of which will be intensified in 2019.
229. Compliance Measures for the Mining Industry: A key
challenge in optimizing mining revenues for the state is the
verification, assessment and collection of what is due the state.
In spite of work done to address these challenges some
loopholes, escape hatches, implementation weaknesses, and
administrative lapses still exist. Government will intensify
measures to address these challenges in the short to medium
term. Additional measures will be aggressively deployed to
enforce existing legislation and regulations.
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230. The strategies to be adopted will be most intensive in the
following areas:
● Ensuring greater scrutiny of the quantity and quality of
minerals produced in Ghana as the basis of revenue
determination and export valuation;
● Curbing base erosion as a source of systemic undervaluation
of royalties and profits;
● Tightening the regime that governs foreign exchange
repatriation through the Bank of Ghana;
● Capitalizing Tax Expenditures (Exemptions) and
recognizing them as additional government equity holdings
in mining companies; and
● Revitalising the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on
Mining
231. Broadening the Tax Net: Mr. Speaker, the need to broaden
the tax base has never been lost on us as a country. Some
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efforts have been even other previous administrations, but too
many individuals and businesses still operate outside the tax
net. This challenge calls for more creative strategies and new
approaches to achieve the needed results. In 2019, we will do
the following:
● Tax Identification Number: Mr. Speaker, the Revenue
Administration Act, 2016 lists many services and
transactions that cannot be accessed by individual without
TIN. Unfortunately, compliance with these requirements
have been low. In 2019, we will begin to apply sanctions
to state and private entities that fail to enforce these TIN
requirements. Additionally, government, in providing social
services and benefits provided by the state, will require
beneficiaries or their guardians to have a TIN. These will
complement the current efforts by the GRA to get more
persons and businesses on their radar.
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● Use of Third-Party Data: Mr. Speaker, the National
Identification Scheme when fully deployed, will provide
government with a database to help with revenue
administration. But even before that, and to add to the
benefits from the NIA, we will in 2019 make use of thirdparty
data sitting in various databases in both private and
public sector for tax administration purposes. The DVLA,
the Lands Registry, the Courts, the Financial Institutions,
the Law Enforcement Agencies, SSNIT, to mention a few,
are repositories of useful tax data. We will use these
databases to rope more persons into the tax net and tax
them accordingly.
232. Local Government Revenues and Finances: Mr. Speaker,
in 2019, the central Government will partner MMDAs to enhance
revenues mobilised at the local Government level. This
partnership will be in the following areas:
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● property registration, and property data management;
● the use of a simplified inexpensive tool for property valuation;
● the setting up of a system for the generation and distribution of
bills; and
● the setting up of a system for the efficient collection of property
rates and other rates.
233. In additions, the Ministry of Finance will strengthen its oversight
over public revenue management in our MMDAs. An electronic
payment platform will be put in place to automate the collection
and administration of rates in all local government entities and
to give central government a comprehensive view of the
finances of MMDAs.
234. Internally Generated Funds of MDAs: Mr Speaker,
improved governance of internally generated funds of
ministries, departments, agencies and all statutory and
constitutional bodies is still top of government priority. As
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provided for in the new Fees and Charges Bill that will be placed
before Parliament before close of the year, the fees and charges
of all MDAs and regulators will come under greater scrutiny of
Central Government. At the moment, some MDAs receive their
fees and charges through commercial banks that lodge these
revenues in full at the BoG. The BoG then transfers the
appropriate amounts to the relevant MDA. In 2019, government
will expand this arrangement to all fees and charges on behalf
of the MDAs and regulators.
235. Government’s digitisation and Cashless initiative continues. All
Government Entities will be able to receive electronic payments
by the end of Q2 next year. This is a pre cursor to all
Government Entities making payments electronically on the
journey to the Government going cashless. This will greatly
increase transparency and efficiency of cashflows to and from
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Government and better aid cash management of all
Government Entities.
236. Deployment of Nation Builder’s Corps (NABCO): Mr.
Speaker, the implementation of many of the interventions
mentioned above will require more energetic hands. As part of
our strategy to enhance revenue mobilisation, GRA has been
assigned ten thousand officers from the NABCO who will be
deployed to support the implementation of these measures and
strategies. In particular, they will be helpful in identifying and
registering potential taxpayers, collection of property rates, and
follow up on debtors. The young men and women of NABCO will
in the process become a pool of officers from whom government
could recruit substantive officers to support revenue
mobilisation.
237. Mr. Speaker, the numbers on tax exemptions in Ghana’s
economy are disturbing. In the last eight (8) years, tax
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exemptions (import duty, import VAT, import NHIL and
domestic VAT) in the economy have grown from GH¢391.90
million (0.9% of GDP) in 2010 to GH¢5,269.99 million (2.6% of
GDP) in 2017.
238. It is important to indicate that these figures do not include
exemptions from the payment of corporate and individual
income taxes, concessions on tax rates, petroleum tax reliefs,
customs tax exemptions enjoyed by diplomatic missions, and
processing charge exemptions at the ports.
239. Over the same period, about six different studies have been
conducted into Ghana’s tax exemptions regime by the Revenue
Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance, International Monetary
Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Cooperation &
Development (OECD), GIZ and the World Bank. All these studies
have concluded that, (1) the growth in Ghana’s tax exemptions
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and reliefs is unsustainable, and (2) the benefits Ghana’s
economy gets from these exemptions and reliefs are doubtful.
240. Worse still, Mr Speaker, tax exemptions in Ghana have
invariably provided the opportunity for abuse. But even without
the irregularities, the exemptions in themselves, deny the
country of much needed revenue, resulting in low revenue
collection and reporting. These cannot be allowed to continue,
which is why we have committed to reform the tax exemptions
regime. The draft policy has been completed and will be
presented to Parliament during 2019 to be passed into law.
241. Mr. Speaker, in 2019 in accordance with the Earmarked Funds
Capping and Realignment Act, 2017 (Act 947), the Ministry of
Finance will review all our earmarked funds and update them to
bring them in line with our current economic realities and
priorities.
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Expenditure Management Programme
242. Mr. Speaker, extensive stakeholder consultations on the draft
regulations for the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, (Act
921) (PFMA) are underway. The regulations will include explicit
provisions for numerical fiscal rules and it is expected that the
regulations will be passed in 2019.
243. Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Integrated Financial Management
Information System (GIFMIS) utilisation expansion programme
was pursued in earnest this year. The GIFMIS financial module
was expanded to cover four Statutory Fund Agencies and has
also been deployed to 216 MMDAs. The budget module
(Hyperion) has also been coded to track the SDGs.
244. To improve overall efficiency in payroll management,
Government has initiated procurement processes to outsource
payroll management. Pilot implementation will begin with one
MDA in 2019.
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245. Mr. Speaker, to strengthen cash and treasury management,
Government is in the process of designing a cash management
solution that will provide an automated cash flow forecasting
model to assist MDAs/MMDAs in forecasting their cash
requirements and broaden Government’s utilisation of the
Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Protecting the Public Purse
246. Mr. Speaker, a key priority of H.E. the President is to protect the
public purse by, among others, enforcing resolute efficiency in
expenditure of public resources. To this end, Government has
recently released guidelines regulating Board allowances for
State Enterprises and Agencies. The guidelines eliminate
monthly allowances for Board members and provides caps on
sitting allowances.
247. Mr. Speaker, Government under the leadership of the Office of
the Vice-President and Office of the Senior Minister, and in
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consultation with the relevant professional institutions, has
produced standardised designs and costs of various public
infrastructure projects in Health, (such as CHPS, Polyclinics,
District Hospitals and Regional Hospitals); Education (school
classrooms, dormitories, and science laboratories); as well as in
Roads. The standardised designs and costs will guide
procurement of contractors for the delivery of these categories
of infrastructure in order to ensure value for money.
248. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, in 2019 the Ministry of Finance will
operationalise an Efficiency and Innovation Unit to lead an
effort in Government to introduce efficiencies and control costs
in important cost drivers, including: standardisation and
centralisation of vehicle and IT procurement, travel
expenditure, and allowances to public officials.
249. Mr. Speaker, our nation has invested huge amounts of money
in State-Owned Enterprises, but we have not been reaping
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benefits commensurate with our investment, due mainly to
inefficiencies and weak governance in the sector. To frontally
turn around this situation, Government after a comprehensive
study of the sector will soon present to this august House, a
draft bill to address the problems in sector.
Fighting Corruption
Office of the Special Prosecutor
250. Mr. Speaker, in line with Government’s promise to protect the
public purse, His Excellency the President remains committed to
the fight against corruption. The Special Prosecutor’s Office
which is established under the Office of the Special Prosecutor
Act 2017 (Act 959) is one of the highest priorities of
government. In this budget, the Special Prosecutor’s Office has
been allocated an amount of GH¢180 million from GoG with a
commitment to provide additional resources during the course
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of 2019 to enable the Special Prosecutor’s Office to carry out its
mandate.
251. Mr. Speaker, as I noted in the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review
Statement to this august House, there is the need to restructure
and strengthen the Internal Audit Function in the public sector
to play its expected role in ensuring effective risk management,
control and improvements in governance processes in the public
sector.
252. The Ministry of Finance is currently supporting the Internal Audit
Agency to conduct extensive stakeholder consultations as part
of the key processes that will lead to restructuring the Internal
Audit Agency. This will help to align the activities of Internal
Auditing to national objectives.
Capping the Ghana Stabilisation Fund
253. Mr. Speaker, Government seeks the approval of Parliament to
maintain the cap on the Ghana Stabilisation Fund at US$300
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million, in line with Section 23(3) of the PRMA, to continue with
the liability management strategy.
Securitisation of GETFUND’s Receivables
254. Mr. Speaker, Cabinet has given no-objection for GETFUND to
secure up to US$1.5 billion long-term financing, and same has
been laid before Parliament. The amount will be used for critical
education infrastructure, on the back of a portion of VAT
receivables as prescribed in Act 581 and will be issued in three
(3) tranches of US$500.00million.
2019 Sovereign Bond Issuance
255. Mr. Speaker, Government is committed to its objective to
borrow at “least cost” and at the minimum prudent level of risk.
Consistent with this, Government intends to issue sovereign
bonds of up to US$3 billion, to be used to finance critical
infrastructure projects and for liability management.
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151 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
Government will explore the possibility of issuing one or a
combination of the following bonds based on market conditions:
Eurobond, and Green bond.
Century Bond
256. Mr. Speaker, Government announced its intention to issue
longer dated sovereign bonds this year as part of our bilateral
engagement with other countries. Our phase of massive
economic transformation requires a more ambitious financing
arrangement, and the capacity to retire about half of the
country’s existing debt which were issued during a high interest
rate environment during the previous administration.
257. The decision to raise these ultra-long-term bonds is not
intended to derail our debts sustainability path, but rather to
enhance it. If we really want to uplift ourselves out of this handto-
mouth existence and put our country Ghana on a firm
trajectory of growth and prosperity, we will need to source long
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152 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
term affordable financing to invest in strategic infrastructure
over the medium to long-term.
258. We shall issue sovereign bonds of longer tenor either as green
bonds or Eurobonds on the international capital markets and
also structure a Sovereign Century Fund for our bilateral
investor partners.
259. The Sovereign Century Fund shall engage on a bilateral basis to
raise long term concessional financing to underwrite our other
commercial infrastructure needs through GIIF, GIADEC, PPP
projects and other entities as well as liability management.
260. We inherited over GH¢120 billion of debt at very high interest
rates. Even though we have brought down interest rates
considerably we are still saddled with a sizeable amount of
expensive debt. As such, in 2019, we will spend over GH¢16
billion of our revenue (over 26.6%) on interest payments. This
amount can be considerably reduced if we refinance our debt at
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153 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
much lower interest rates. A ten percent reduction in the
interest rates translates into over GH¢1.6 billion in savings;
almost enough to pay for Free SHS in 2019.
261. Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Century bond program will help provide
us with the wherewithal to refinance these expensive liabilities.
It is an important bulwark for Ghana’s post IMF status; it
indicates a country with a long-term plan, a country that can
program its infrastructure needs, a country that can provision
for adequate foreign exchange reserves.
SOCIAL INTERVENTION POLICIES
262. Mr. Speaker, our focus in Government over the last 22 months
has not just been restoration of macroeconomic stability. We
have implemented a number of flagship policies as well as social
intervention policies that have reduced the suffering as well as
enhance the aspirations and opportunities of ordinary
Ghanaians.
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154 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
263. The Akufo-Addo Government has eased the burden of hundreds
of thousands of Ghanaians and invested in the future of our
children with the introduction of the Free Senior High School
program. For the first time in our history, the whole of Ghana is
enjoying Free SHS. Under free SHS, students are entitled to;
● Free Meals (Both boarding and day)
● Free boarding accommodation
● Free textbooks
264. Mr. Speaker, the Free SHS in 2017 provided over 90,000
additional teenagers an opportunity to get senior high school
education and improve their opportunities for work in the
future.
265. Mr. Speaker, in 2018, as a result of the innovative double track
system, we have been able to accommodate 181,000 more
students who otherwise could not have access to secondary
education.
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155 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
266. Mr. Speaker, the introduction of free SHS has also provided
immediate cash benefits to the parents:
● For a parent with a boarding SHS student, you save
GH¢2,015.22
● For a parent with a boarding TVET student you save GH¢
2,115.22
● And over a 3-year period a parent with a boarding SHS student
would have saved nearly GH¢ 6,045. (or about 60 million old
Cedis). The savings is about 120 million old Cedis if you have 2
children going through the free SHS.
267. Mr. Speaker, we increased the school feeding programme from
1.6 million children to 2.1 million children, and also increased
the amount spent on each child by 25 percent.
268. Mr. Speaker, in the area of LEAP, we have added more than
150,000 households to the programme thereby improving their
livelihoods.
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269. Mr. Speaker, Furthermore;
● We have increased the share of the DACF to persons with
disabilities from 2 percent to 3 percent
● We have more than doubled the Capitation Grant (From
GH¢4.5 to GH¢10.0)
● We have Restored Teacher Training Allowances
● We have Restored Nursing Training Allowances
● We have reduced Electricity tariff – 17.5 percent for
households and 30 percent for businesses
● We have cleared the GHC 1.2 billion arrears inherited under
the NHIS and the NHIS is working again.
● We have provided food crop farmers with subsidised (50
percent subsidy) fertiliser under the planting for food and jobs
program. This has resulted in increased output and lower food
prices.
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157 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
● We have provided jobs to 100,000 graduates under the Nation
Builders Corps (NABCO) across every constituency in Ghana
Expanding Social Security Coverage to the Informal
Sector
270. Mr. Speaker, retirement income security is a right of every
Ghanaian and not only formal sector workers. His Excellency,
the President has demonstrated his commitment to expanding
social security to cover the informal sector by charging the
Board of SSNIT to ensure the inclusion of informal sector
workers. I am pleased to announce Mr. Speaker that SSNIT is
working with Government to develop a policy framework to
provide informal sector workers with a voluntary fully funded
personal pensions scheme to be launched in 2019.
271. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask one question. Can anyone recall
the social intervention policies that the social democratic NDC
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introduced in its last eight years in government to mitigate the
hardships of Ghanaians?”
272. Mr. Speaker, the evidence shows that when it comes to social
policies to protect the poor and vulnerable in Ghana the
Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has indeed a
remarkable record.
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SECTION SIX: CONCLUSION
Marching Boldly Towards Ghana Beyond Aid
273. Mr. Speaker, with December, 2018 as the last test date, we are
on track to successfully complete and exit the IMF ECF
programme. We have clearly demonstrated our competence in
managing Ghana’s economy in the past two years that we have
been in Government. We will remain steadfast in this resolve.
To this end we are putting in place a number of legal and
institutional measures to ensure we do not revert to the bad
days of macroeconomic mismanagement.
274. Mr. Speaker, one of the key measures we are institutionalising
is the Social Partnership among Organised Labour, Ghana
Employers Association, and Government which we believe will
provide avenue for the partners to deliberate on significant
development matters and providing relevant solutions.
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275. Further, the 6 Strategic Pillars in the 2019 budget put us in a
position to advance boldly towards Ghana Beyond Aid. In this
budget we are:
• making an unprecedented push in infrastructural expansion;
• modernising agriculture, increasing production, and reducing
our dependence on imports for food;
• forging ahead with a bold and comprehensive industrialization
plan that adds value to our agriculture and natural resources,
and leverages our rising population of educated youth;
• strengthening our domestic revenue mobilization and taking
strong measures to enforce efficiency in public expenditures and
protect the public purse; and
• building on and strengthening our social interventions in order
to ensure that no one is left behind as we transform our
economy and march boldly to a Ghana Beyond Aid.
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161 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
276. Mr. Speaker, the future is indeed very bright as we embark on
big ticket projects and programmes as part of our resolve to
transform the economy and better the lives of Ghanaians. Mr
Speaker:
o we are implementing the Sinohydro project which will provide
additional US$2bn in road, rail, and other infrastructure;
o the Aker oil Field will start producing in 2021 and will
eventually add about 100,000 barrels of oil per day to Ghana’s
crude oil production. In addition, ExxonMobil is coming on
board soon to explore and produce crude oil in the Deep Water
Cape Three Points;
o the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation
(GIADEC) will be established to develop an integrated
aluminium industry;
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o Ghana is attracting international car manufacturing giants such
as Nissan, Volkswagen, SinoTruk to set up auto assembly
plants to produce vehicles.
277. Mr. Speaker, as you know, H.E. the President constituted a
Committee to draw up a Ghana Beyond Aid Charter. The
Committee comprises representatives from a wide cross-section
of Ghanaians, including Government, organised labour, the
private sector and employers, and the youth. Work on the
Charter and on the detail contours of the Ghana Beyond Aid
agenda is well advanced, and the Committee will present its
report to the President before the end of the year. Following
that there will be consultations with Ghanaians before revising
the Committee’s work for eventual submission to Parliament for
debate.
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163 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
278. Mr. Speaker in March 2017, I presented the first budget of a
President who had re-energised the nation and inspired hope
in:
• The millions of Ghanaians who went to the polls and voted him
into power;
• Youthful Ghanaians who believed that their lives would be
turned around;
• Expectant Parents who believed that their burdens will be
eased;
• Hundreds of children who believed and hoped that they will
have opportunity to improve their lives through education;
• University graduates who believed that they might have
opportunity to wake up in the morning, dress up and show up
for work;
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164 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
• Businesses who believed that interest rates would come down
so that they can borrow and expand their businesses and
employ more people;
• Dying businesses that required some stimulus to live again like
the bones in Ezekiel;
• Ghanaians who had sat in darkness and wanting to see light;
• Our Development partners who believed that they can revitalise
their partnership with us; and
• The international investor community and also in the IMF,
whose programme with Ghana had derailed.
279. Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that those who believed,
have seen their dreams and aspirations come to fruition:
• 100,000 trained graduates who have been home for years,
despondent without hope, now have the opportunity to
contribute to our national development;
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165 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
• 271,000, 16 -18-year olds who would have been thrown onto
the streets but for free SHS are now seated in classrooms
getting an education and gaining training to give them a better
future;
• And as the Bible says, for those who sat in darkness, they have
seen a great light. This is in spite of the deep challenge and the
grievous harm that has been done through questionable take or
pay contracts, for which we will have to pay some $600 million
annually whether we switch on the light or not. But we have
resolved to do so;
• Nurses and teachers who believed that the government will
come to their aid, we have met their aspirations and hope; and
• Over 1.5 million depositors who but for the timely intervention
of Government would have lost their businesses and their life
savings and deposits of over GH¢ 9 million.
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166 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
280. Ghana’s international profile is now on the rise; in the last year,
the President has hosted several Heads of State and
Governments, as well as high profile international dignitaries.
Global Leaders and investors are lining up now to pay serious
attention to Ghana.
281. Mr. Speaker, we are proud of what we have accomplished in 22
months and are certain and resolved to deliver a future that
meets the hopes and aspirations of our people through this
budget and into the medium term.
282. Mr. Speaker, this story of hope continues. This budget meets
the expectations of Ghanaians for better infrastructure and
housing, increased economic activity through unprecedented
investment in industrialization and agriculture, expanding job
opportunities for entrepreneurs, and rising incomes.
283. In the next 26 months, we are determined to address:
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• The hope of farmers whose food crops are getting rotten
through expanded storage facilities; improved marketing and
the intervention of the Ghana Commodity Exchange;
• The challenges faced by communities that lack access to potable
water and continue to drink water from streams;
• The lack of ambulances for our pregnant mothers and sick
relatives;
• Transportation challenges through better roads and rail
networks;
• The challenges faced by our market women who have to sell
their wares on the dusty ground and in the scorching sun by
providing improved markets and stalls;
• The difficulties faced by fisher folk by providing them with
landing beaches, cold storage facilities and thereby improving
their incomes;
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168 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
• Meeting the spiritual needs of our people with the promotion of
the Ghana National Cathedral.
284. Through this budget, we will frontally address the sanitation
challenges faced by many of our towns and cities.
285. In this 2019 budget we have chosen to sacrifice and build for
the future; we have chosen to invest in people; we have chosen
to boldly tackle the infrastructural needs of the people with a $2
billion facility next year. We have chosen to make our rich oil
resources more accessible to credible investors through
competitive bidding and we aim to hit, God willing, a million
barrels of crude oil production within a matter of a decade. It
may sound ambitious, but we are confident in the plan that we
have. We know that Ghana’s rich bauxite resources have the
potential to deliver over $500 billion in revenue and create tens
of thousands of jobs along the value chain, if we stick to the
President’s vision and commitment to build an integrated
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169 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
aluminium industry, as spelt out in the law. We know that the
Ghana industrialisation project is ready for that long-awaited big
take-off. It is not by sheer accident that the big multinationals
in the automobile industry are signing up to set up
manufacturing hubs in Ghana. It is not by accident that we were
the fastest growing economy in the world last year and still
growing strong.
286. We have chosen 2019 as the year to begin some landmark
redevelopment projects that will stamp Accra’s growing
reputation as the main city for business and holiday travellers
in our region and beyond. Three of these major multi-billion cedi
redevelopment projects are namely the Marine Drive, Trade Fair
Redevelopment and the Energy City. Ghana, Mr Speaker, is
working again and will work for the benefit of the people and to
the Glory` of God.
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287. We have chosen to be bold in devising a budget that deals with
the past; delivers opportunity in the present, while investing
responsibly into the future. We will not heed the voices
encouraging us to eat the seeds that need to be harvested for
the future. We shall not be discouraged by the voices that seek
to play down the gains that we constantly continue to make.
We pledge not to repeat the mistakes of the past; so long as
the majority of Ghanaians continue to keep faith with our
leadership.
288. The 2019 National Budget addresses the past. Exiting the IMF
programme is a great achievement towards fiscal sovereignty
but not from eternal fiscal discipline; expenditures on SHS is
expensive but a responsible investment that provides
incalculable future returns on our greatest asset – our children
– the next generation of Ghanaians who will inherit the future
that we create today. In this budget, we have invested in
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171 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
MASLOC so that small businesses up and down the country can
have additional cheaper access to credit. We were also
challenged that in looking at the past and into the future we
could not ignore the urgency of today—the development and
delivery of electricity, inputs for agricultural expansion, health
care and better roads and infrastructure. 2019 is a budget that
better enables us to balance the decisions of the past and the
needs of today with the pillars and foundation needed to build
a better tomorrow.
289. We also recognize that building national prosperity is not the
exclusive domain of Government. If, we are to win in pushing
Ghana Beyond Aid then every single one of us must own it; be
citizens in developing our nation and not just mere spectators
with strong opinions only as our contribution. I thank all the
productive communities of Ghana and all Ghanaians for the epic
sacrifices and contributions you make every day. I particularly
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172 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
thank the community of faith whose intercession and prayers
for this nation are unceasing. The Government recognizes and
appreciates the role you play in fulfilling the biblical mandate in
Matthew 25 to “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of
the sick and visit the prisoner.” Government’s partnership with
you to lift the vulnerable and needy is stead-fast and
immovable.
290. I believe, that with faith as our shield and God-loving Ghanaians
as partners, the promise of God in Genesis 12:2-3 will also be
ours: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make
your name [Ghana] great… And in you all the families of the
(earth) [Ghana] shall be blessed”
291. Mr. Speaker, in the Spirit of the season, I declare that by this
budget, we bring Glad Tidings of Great Joy, of Hope, Relief and
a Renewed strength. Indeed, Emmanuel God is with us!!!
292. God Bless us all and our dear country, Ghana!
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173 | The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year
293. Rt Hon. Speaker I so move

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