Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Mr Seth Terkper has outlined what the government says are its microeconomic achievements. These he said, are the results of “far-reaching and significant investments” in all sectors of the economy which have led to considerable improvements in the lives of our people.
He was speaking in Parliament on Friday as part of his delivery of the 2016 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.
The achievements, he said, include:
Education: After the success of the "Schools Under Trees Programme'', we began the construction of 123 Community Day Senior High Schools (SHS) to provide space for hundreds of thousands of JHS graduates. We have added to the stock, two new functioning universities and implemented many other social interventions in education;
Health: The health sector has witnessed massive infrastructure development and retooling in the last few years. Work is on-going on the construction of new hospitals, including the nearly completed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital and the Ridge Hospital. These will deliver about 6,000 hospital beds by 2017 which will guarantee access to improved healthcare for our people;
Water: Following the huge investments made in the sector, 77.5 million gallons of water per day was added to the generation capacity as at the end of July 2015. By end of 2016, this should increase to 109.7 million gallons per day and will result in a coverage of 76 percent for both urban and rural communities;
Roads: We made significant progress in funding and completing many of the "Gang of six'' roads and launched the GH¢3 billion Cocoa Road Improvement Project; we have constructed thousands of kilometres of roads across the country. These include the Suhum-Apedwa and Kyebi town roads. Recent additions include the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, the Fufulso-Sawla road, the Kasoa interchange and the Eastern corridor road;
Transport: We are investing in the modernisation and expansion of the aviation and maritime infrastructure. These include the expansion of the Kotoka and Tamale International airports, the aerodrome in Ho, the expansion of the Tema harbour and provision of 116 buses for public road transport. Permit me to note that in line with our new debt management policies, the airport and harbour project are designed on self-financing basis;
Communications: We have successfully deployed 800 kilometres optic fibre infrastructure which runs through 126 communities along the eastern corridor from Ho to Bawku with a link from Yendi to Tamale. The fixed and mobile telephony and internet subscriptions as at August 2015 stood at over 33 million and 17 million, respectively;
Housing: Through a combination of direct government investments and public private partnerships, an aggressive housing programme has been rolled out to provide more Ghanaian families in the lower to middle income brackets with decent homes. About 18,000 housing units are at different stages of completion; and
Energy: We are bringing on stream 845 MW of power to add to the generation capacity by the close of the year and providing the necessary investments and guarantees to permanently address our perennial power generation shortfall.
He said the investments have not only provided critical social services to improve the lives of the people, they have also resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs for the youth.