Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said the NPP government is on track to fix the “ailing economy” it inherited from the previous NDC administration.
Dr. Bawumia is optimistic that the modalities being worked on by the Akufo-Addo-led administration will transform Ghana, giving a strong indication the private sector will be the engine of growth.
“This is our sixth week in government but we have already started doing some things we believe are going to turn around this economy and all what we are doing is focusing on private enterprises, private investments and protecting the public purse making sure that we have value for money for what we do,” the economist told a delegation from the US Senate at the Flagstaff House on Saturday.
“So we want to basically appeal to our friends in the United States [and] the government of the United States that we need to enhance our engagement to protect what Ghana has in the sub-region and we think that greater cooperation, especially in the spheres of economy, counter-terrorism, cyber security and so on will really enhance the peace and stability not only of Ghana and West Africa but the world as a whole,” he added.
It will be recalled that President Akufo-Addo during his maiden State of the Nation Address stated the economy is in a wobbling situation with an energy sector debt standing at 2 billion dollars.
“The attempts by the previous government to resolve the dumsor crisis have led to a gargantuan debt overhang in the sector…we have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector, with the net debt reaching 2.4 billion US dollars as at December 2016.
“I have to point out the alarming fact that 800 million US dollars of this debt is owed to local banks, which threatens their stability. Huge indebtedness of the energy sector constitutes the single major hurdle to Ghanaians enjoying reliable and affordable electricity supply,” he said.
He also assured of the government’s commitment to deepening cooperation with the United States of America in furtherance of international diplomacy and national development.
Led by Senator Jim Inhofe (Rep-Oklahoma.), the delegation is in the country to learn, at first-hand, the challenges facing the new government, so as to enable them make informed decisions about Ghana when they return.
The delegation includes Senator Marion Michael Rounds (South Dakota), Congressmen Vern Buchanan (Florida’s 16th District), Randy Hultgren (Illinois’ 14th District), Steve Pierce (New Mexico), and Tim Walberg (South-Central Michigan)
Addressing the press, Vice President Bawumia underscored the need for greater cooperation amongst the nations of the world, in the face of growing threats from a variety of sources across the globe, emphasizing that good neighbourliness and co-operation were essential to a stable and peaceful society.
Amongst others, Ghana is seeking greater engagement in the areas of economic development, counter terrorism and cyber security with the United States, the Vice President stated.
Private enterprise development, protecting the public purse and ensuring freedom of the press would continue to receive priority attention from government, he added.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, shortly before a closed door meeting with the Vice President and other government officials, Senator Marion Michael Rounds (Rep, South Dakota), commended Ghana for the smooth transition of power from one government to another in the last election, saying it was a sure sign of the country’s democratic credentials.
Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister; Hon Dominic Nitiwul, Defence Minister; and Hon Ambrose Dery, Interior Minister were also present at the meeting.