“IMF programme will not affect Free SHS, pro-poor policies” – President Akufo-Addo assures

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The aid the government is requesting from the IMF won’t have an impact on the government’s hallmark pro-poor programs, according to President of the Republic Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

President Akufo-Addo asserts that Ghana’s continued pro-poor initiatives have been at the core of the government’s agenda since 2017 and continue to be non-negotiable components of the nation’s public expenditure. As a result, they will not be impacted by Ghana’s reengagement with the IMF.

The President pointed to the statement made by the IMF Country Director who said that a project like the Free SHS programme cannot be sacrificed on the altar of a program with the IMF and described it as a fairly simple assurance to make.

“So, all our minds are going in the same direction, and I’m very, very confident that these programmes especially the FreeSHS, FreeTVET programme will emerge from the programme with the Fund intact,” he stated.

The Upper East Region working visit of President Akufo-Addo began on Friday, August 5, 2022, with an interview on UAR Radio in Bolgatanga.

“I think there is something that a lot of people are forgetting. When we came into office, we were into an IMF programme in 2017. In fact before we exited the IMF, Free SHS was introduced in the September of my first term in office, a whole nine months of my coming under an IMF Programme. So, it is already been accommodated within the thinking of the Fund programme for Ghana.”

He continued that, “It is (Free SHS) not as if it is something that we had to wait to exit the programme before we brought it. We brought it at the time we were and under an IMF Programme, and I will find it very illogical for us to have a programme we started under an IMF programme and because we are going to have a new one sacrifice it. That doesn’t make sense, and it will not happen.”

He observed that the structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy away from its current reliance on the production and export of raw materials toward one of value addition and industrialization is the way to go in terms of ensuring that Ghana does not go back to requesting assistance from the IMF.

“That is why we’ve had this emphasis on industrial transformation coming out of the 1D1F Programme and certain other targeted industrial transformation measures that we’ve taken in the automotive industry in enhancing the value addition our strategic mineral resources like our bauxite, iron ore, etc. Those are the real keys to a future robust Ghanaian economy – that we will have an economy that is self-sufficient in the sense that the basic needs of the people are produced by Ghanaian production”, he said

President Akufo-Addo continued, “So, it is important that we, in Ghana, we keep our eyes on two factors. To continue the process of structural transformation of our economy that will give us more independence, more robust and a more resilient Ghanaian economy, and, at the same time, make provisions for these exogenous interferences that every now and then are just bound to happen”, he applauded.

The efforts we are taking to strengthen our economy, he said again, “will make it more and more difficult for us to have that dependency and need for reliance in the future.”

In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo also made a plea to Upper East communities to support the government and the nation’s security forces in reducing border infiltration incidents there.

The National Security Ministry proposed the slogan “See Something, Say Something,” which is essentially about involving the community and the population in the work of the security and intelligence agencies. According to the President, government and the security agencies will need “the active cooperation of the population for us to make the security response as effective as possible.”

It is far preferable for us to use the resources we have to stop the terrorist threat from entering the nation rather than trying to eradicate it once it has already arrived, he concluded.

In terms of the disturbance to social activities, the expense is enormous.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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