We Will Remain In Poverty If … Nduom
Minister of Economic Planning and Regional Integration has admitted that the current 4.5 per cent growth of the Gross Domestic Product cannot lead the country to any appreciable economic prosperity. For the country to attain proper economic growth, he said, the GDP has to grow by seven per cent consistently for at least five years. The seven per cent growth target is in line with the United Nations millennium goal, which states among others that poverty in Ghana should be reduced by half within a decade.
According to him, the economy of Ghana over the last decade or two had not grown even over five per cent due to the debt burden that faces the country. He mentioned the Volta River Authority (VRA), Tema Oil Refinery and the Electricity Company of Ghana, as some of the institutions whose debt burden has brought the economy to its present status.
Commenting on the Energy sector, he said the previous government for political expediency refused to increase the price of fuel, making TOR unable to even recover its operational cost. Consequently, he said, the NPP government would use the years 2002 and 2004 to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to build the proper foundation to move the economy forward.
“We want to stabilize the macro economy, take care of the basic things and project the private sector”. In September, this year, he said the government would come out with a vision, which would encompasse, all the previous documents such as the vision 2020 and the seven and five-year Development Plans. Dr Nduom said the government as a matter of principle would not throw away anything good from a previous government just because it came from an opposing government.
On allegations that the declaration of the Golden Age of Business was myopic, Dr Nduom said the government, since assumption of power had worked so hard on the economy to ensure that business thrives. On accusation that the fall in economic indicators do not reflect in the pockets of ordinary Ghanaian, Dr Nduom said purchasing power had stabilized because the government had put emphasis on domestic food production.