The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, is highly optimistic Ghanaians will feel real transformation in their lives from this year as government rolls out a number of programmes to boost the economy.
Opening the 69th edition of the Annual New Year School at the University of Ghana, Dr. Bawumia stated that government used its first year in office to lay a solid foundation – adding all is set for a positive outlook in 2018.
He served notice that a number of programmes will be rolled out this year, including establishing the Integrated Bauxite and Aluminium Development Authority to spearhead exploitation along the full value chain of Ghana’s consumable bauxite resources.
According to him, government will ensure “transparent accounting for our natural resources exported – such as gold, oil – and introduce a new financing model for development: leveraging our natural resources”.
Ghana, he said, will witness the largest investment in infrastructure under the Akufo-Addo Plan for Economic Transformation, which will focus on “Railways – Eastern, Line, Western Line, Central Spine – Private sector-driven; the completed Sekondi to Takoradi (10km) line, Roads and interchanges, Bridges, Water, Rural Electrification, among others”.
Also, the Legislative Instrument for National ID cards, which is popularly known as the Ghana Card, is expected to be passed by Parliament soon for mass nationwide registration to begin.
In the banking sector, Dr. Bawumia has no doubt the inter-operability of payment systems will streamline the industry and make it more attractive to Ghanaians.
“Having an interoperable payments system between banks, mobile operators and other financial sector players enables people to make payments to anyone else in a convenient, affordable, fast, seamless and secure way with one account,” the former deputy-Governor of the central bank said.
He mentioned that the Zongo Development Fund, Development Authorities; One District, One Factory; Nation Builders Corps – 100,000 graduates; Land Digitalisation; E-Passports and E-Visas and many others will all take off this year.
“Much of the focus of the Digital Address System drive in 2018 will be to integrate it with key government agencies such as ECG, Ghana Water Company, SSNIT etc.,” he noted.
“I would like to stress that at the heart of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo’s government is the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid. In short, government and the people of Ghana must take full ownership and responsibility for the nation’s economic growth and transformation, in a new partnership with our development partners.
“We envisage a paradigm shift wherein trade, private capital flows, strategic political cooperation and partnership, as well as domestic resource mobilisation, become the driving force of our development,” Dr. Bawumia emphasised.
He added: “We have done it before – Ghana has always been the initiator and Star of Africa, and with the collective support and hard work of all Ghanaians we can do it again and ensure our economic transformation and development”.