By Papisdaff Abdullah
Vice President of the Republic of Ghana Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has told his nationals living in Lebanon that Ghana is on the rise again under president Akufo-Addo with prospects for growth and development bright.
According him, ongoing structural and policy initiatives, including a commitment to transforming the Ghanaian economy through the use of technology while paying greater attention to human resource development, will set the stage for a brighter future for Ghana.
“By any stretch of the argument, if one looks at the progress made in the last 22 months there is no doubt that Ghana is on the rise again. The Nana Akufo-Addo government has implemented policies and programmes that have had a direct benefit on the life of the ordinary Ghanaian, while dealing with the challenges that we inherited as a Government,” he told the Ghanaian community.
Dr Bawumia added: “For instance, through the implementation of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme, thousands of Ghanaian teenagers who otherwise would have stayed home had access to secondary education. In 2017, FSHS provided over 90,000 additional teenagers an opportunity to get senior high school education and improve their opportunities for work in the future. In 2018, we have been able to accommodate 181,000 more students who otherwise could not have access to secondary education.
“We are more than convinced that the future can only be bright and we keep higher hopes. We can only thank God Almighty for how far he has brought us as a nation.”
He said the administration would continue to think outside the box to make Ghana an example to the rest of the continent.
The Vice President travelled to Lebanon to witness the award of United Nations Medals to Ghana’s contingent attached to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the first time the President or Vice President of Ghana has visited Ghanaian troops in Lebanon, although Ghana has supported UNIFIL with troops since the inception of the mission 40 years ago.
Dr Bawumia cited the gains made in the macro economy, including an increase in the size of the Ghanaian economy from 3.7% in 2016 to 8.5% in 2017; a decline in inflation from 15.4% in 2016 to 11.8% in 2017 and now standing in single digits at 9.5%; as well as a decline in the debt to GDP ratio from 73.1% in 2016 to about 55% following the rebasing of the economy, as evidence of government’s firm grip on the economic management wheel.
He stated, among others, that such macroeconomic improvements led to the upgrading of Ghana’s credit rating for the first time in ten years from B minus to B with positive outlook by Standard and Poors, a global ratings agency.
“My assurances to you all and all Ghanaians are that your economy is in competent hands and there is more to come under the visionary leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.”
He continued, “today, Dumsor(power outages) is not killing people’s businesses. Unemployed graduates are being employed under a special vehicle called NABCO. Nursing and Teacher trainee allowances have been restored. Government is paying the registration fees for BECE candidates. Parents are not paying for senior high school fees. Electricity tariffs have been reduced for both business and individual use.
“These are things that did not exist before we came into Government and, if we had not addressed them they were going to compound the hardships on Ghanaians.”
Ghana, Vice President Bawumia indicated, is on the rise again, and urged Ghanaians domiciled abroad to contribute their quota to the success story.