At Cabinet retreat: Govt will spend within means next year - Oppong Nkrumah
The government has resolved to spend within its means next year despite the 2024 elections to maintain the momentum in economic recovery, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has announced.
Briefing journalists on Sunday [Oct 22] on last weekend’s Cabinet retreat, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the government was pleased with the steady progress of the economic recovery programme, dubbed the Post-COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PCPEG), and was, therefore, determined to do everything possible to improve on it.
Consequently, he said, Cabinet had decided that the government would not expend on any new project or programme in 2024 which it would not be able to find the resources to execute.
Rather, he said, the government would focus on the completion of existing projects such as the Agenda 111 hospital projects, and further improve the fiscal fundamentals for the intended economic growth.
“We are going to be tightly spending within the revenue limits of the country.
If we do not have revenue for a project, we will not necessarily borrow to meet it.
“Cabinet is resolved that despite the fact that 2024 is an election year, focus should be on ensuring that we are able to consolidate the stability, bring inflation further down, and ensure that depreciation of the currency is held in abeyance.
“These are the focal points as against the traditional view that in an election year the government has to spend more with the hope of winning elections,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
The Minister said apart from curbing spending, the government was also vigorously working to drastically reduce wastage in government machinery by enhancing the public financial management system.
“We are working to improve the public financial management system to reduce the debts from government agencies which come to hurt us.
We are, therefore, encouraging every single government entity to get on the GIFMIS platform,” he said.
Again, he said, the government was working to further reduce inflation through an aggressive monetary policy by the Bank of Ghana, among other measures, which it was religiously implementing.
“The Bank of Ghana is continuing with a tight monetary policy to bring inflation further down from the 38 per cent to the mid-20s by the end of this year, and possibly 15 per cent by the end of next year,” he said.
The Minister of Information said Cabinet had also decided to decisively deal with the issue of indebtedness of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) which had negatively affected government books and had become a fiscal risk to the country.
“Later this week, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will be meeting with Heads of all SOEs to engage on how to ensure that the things that occasionally get them into losses and debts are contained because they pose a major risk to our fiscal space,” he said.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the government was pleased with the current results of the PCPEG, and, as part of efforts to further improve the progress, government was implementing many intervention programmes in the area of agriculture, aquaculture and industry.
“The aim is to ensure that there is more expansion for people, especially young ones, to get jobs and incomes,” he said.
On Cabinet’s take on the current flooding occasioned by the spillage of the Akosombo Dam, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the Cabinet had directed the Inter-Ministerial Committee to review its relief efforts every three days.
He said government’s immediate focus on the flooding was to get as much help as possible to all those affected and in the medium term fashion a plan that would eventually get them back to their previous livelihoods.
“The committee has been tasked to ensure people affected are adequately catered for, and also where further support is required, it is made available.
On Tuesday, there will be an update to the country on the relief efforts and where augmentation needs to take place, it will be done,” he said.