The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said that President Akufo-Addo must be commended for the compassionate leadership he has shown in steering Ghana’s fight against the spread of COVID-19.
He made this call while contributing to the debate on the Mid-Year Budget Review presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last Thursday.
Nkrumah, who is also the MP for Ofoase Ayirebi in the Eastern Region, argued that it is the responsibility of the government to recognise the adverse effects of the coronavirus on the people and to initiate measures which ease the pain. According to him, the coronavirus posed a huge danger both economically and healthwise, but the proactiveness of the current administration has led it to implement measures which put the country back to where it was before the outbreak of the disease.
“Any president who has compassion for his people, any president who cares for his people, must put in place a clear and bold recovery programme which restores Ghana’s recent economic success, builds a self-reliant economy and improves quality of lives eventually,” the minister said.
“This bold revitalisation programme, Ghana CARES, which was announced by the Honourable Minister responsible for Finance on Thursday, will mobilise GHC100 billion to reinvest in the Ghanaian economy to bring back growth, lost jobs [and] incomes and improve on quality of lives.
“Under President Akufo-Addo, Ghana CARES is established to ensure that food security is not hampered. In times like these, with shutdowns and lockdowns, food security is a risk to any economy.
“You will notice that under this programme, attention is paid to ensuring that agric productivity is restored, food is available and at affordable prices, protecting the livelihoods of farmers and the rest of our population.
“Under President Akufo-Addo, Ghana cares about people’s businesses. Therefore a key component of this programme is to continuously support businesses. Already nearly GHC1 billion is being made available through the CAPBuSS loan scheme for MSMEs,” he said.
The minister also noted that the government’s guarantee scheme of up to GHC2 billion is another measure that the government is rolling out which will enable businesses to borrow from banks at more affordable rates and at longer tenor, and will save businesses from collapsing and retain jobs going forward.
Another credit line of GHC2 billion is being made available to medium-sized and large enterprises to stimulate economic activity in these sectors. For those who have lost jobs, an unemployment insurance programme is to be introduced to assist them [to] protect livelihoods in these tough times. Furthermore, a good proportion of this money will be used to inject liquidity into the Ghanaian economy and stimulate activity across sectors, Oppong Nkrumah said.
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio
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