At the Graphic-Fidelity Economic dialogue, which was a meeting between current and former finance ministers on the Ghanaian economy, current Finance Minister, Seth Terkper revealed government’s intention to set up a new development bank.
This, he said was necessary in order to address some of the challenges regarding capital for local investors as the National Investment Bank was not living up to expectation.
Established over 50 years ago, NIB was the first development bank in Ghana to promote and strengthen rapid industrialization in all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
Mr. Terkper explained that “a bank that is big enough to go into areas like long term financing of mortgages and others; we do not have that yet, even if we have it, it is not big enough. We should be an economy which grows its financial sector, its real sector and create jobs so that the graduates we are producing in this country will find jobs,” he added.
He urged the private sector to lower their exaggerated expectations of government stabilising the economy, “the private sector complains when government taxes it, meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority generates ’barely 13 billion’ cedis to pay the public servants, run the government and also invest in infrastructure.
With the nation’s output coupled with the desire to maintain a liberal tax system, government is unable to provide the capital needs of private sector and social interventions in education and health hence, the private sector has to do more, the minister added.
A former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, applauded the government for the removal of subsidies, especially on petroleum products.
“We commend them for beginning the painful process of removal of subsidies; we should depoliticize that, because it is costly politically,’’ he said.
Some of these policies and decisions, he noted would go a long way to help the economy improve and develop adding, “We cannot as a country continue to buy at higher rates and cut down on our prices”.
Dr Akoto Osei allured that Finance Minister and Ministry must show commitment and discipline in the budget allocation, “… Ministers putting items on the budget that are not in the budget, this is serious indiscipline in every government from Nkrumah down to now,’’