Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister-designate, says the Ghanaian economy is bleeding seriously from revenue leakages.
He therefore promised to put stringent measures in place to block all the loopholes on the revenue side.
Speaking to the media after his nomination as Senior Minister by President Nana Akufo-Addo, Mr. Osafo-Maafo said, “My first step will be to look at the revenue sources and make sure that we block all the loopholes.
“That is the softest way which does not involve any expenditure. It rather involves looking at the system and blocking all leakages at the customs, airports, habours and everywhere that we have revenue.”
He said the country’s economy was faced with a lot of problems, which needs urgent attention, stating that “From all indications, we have a lot of serious problems with the economy. The figures we have seen so far is disturbing, and we need somebody with experience and exposure to link the economic ministries to make sure that we put the economy right, hence my appointment.”
Mr Osafo-Maafo said currently Ghana’s budget deficit is hovering around 8 percent, higher than the targeted 5 percent under the International Monitory Fund (IMF) agreement.
“Our target for deficit agreed with the Fund by the end of year December is about 5 percent, but with the figures I am seeing the deficit is more than 8 percent which is serious,” he said.
The Senior Minister-designate said the country’s debt-to-GDP is even worse, explaining that when the NPP was leaving government in 2008 under Kufour’s administration, the debt-to-GDP was 26 percent.
He said, “Now we are over 72 percent debt-to-GDP ratio and it is serious. The limit to GDP is 70 percent, and when you are there, you are in serious trouble.”
Mr Osafo-Maafo promised to work with other economic related ministries to improve the country’s economy for businesses to thrive.
By Cephas Larbi