Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea, former Minister for Works and Housing has lauded the Akufo-Addo led government for the effective management of the economy even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged many countries.
According to him, the efficient management of the economy was an eloquent testimony of exemplary and quality leadership by President Akufo-Addo.
“Mr Speaker, strong leadership is measured by the gargantuan or sometimes the enormous problems one tackles and solves”
Mr Atta-Akyea was contributing to the debate on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government in Parliament.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17, 2021, presented the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government to Parliament after which the House was expected to debate the principles of the budget.
Mr Atta-Akyea also maintained that despite the COVID-19 pandemic not a single worker in the public sector was laid off and that the economy had the shock absorbers to continue.
He cited for example that the economic impact of the pandemic on advanced economies such as the United Kingdom and the United States has been unprecedented, saying “what we are confronted with is international”.
He said the government was working towards generating power from the Pawlugu multi-purpose dam in line with Goal Seven of the Sustainable Development Goals on affordable and clean energy for the people.
Mr Atta-Akyea also described the government initiative to set up the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Company as a game-changer to the country’s quest for development.
He said the initiative would have immense benefit for the nation and that the upstream sector would generate thousands of jobs for the country while the downstream sector was expected to yield billions of dollars with direct and indirect jobs.
Dr Kwabena Donkor, former Minister of Power in his contribution lauded the government for assisting Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to acquire seven per cent interest Anadarko Oil Company in Deep Water Tano and Cape Three Points, saying it fulfilled the vision started by the erstwhile Mahama government to increase the country’s stake in the oil and gas business.
He however refuted claims made by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in the budget that Parliament had approved 37 Deep Water Cape Three Points and 70 per cent South Deep Water Cape Three Points oil blocks.
“Mr Speaker, I want to put on record that Parliament never granted this approval…I am really amazed, mesmerized, worried that such a major policy decision could go into the budget statement.
“Mr Speaker, what this Parliament did is to give the Ministers of Energy and Finance, and by implication GNPC the nod to go and negotiate a price and report back to this House for approval…the Hansard of 6th August 2021 attest to this” he added.
Dr Donkor also stated that government’s intention to achieve universal electricity coverage for the country by 2024 had been abysmal.
He said in 2016, the access rate for electricity coverage in the country was 83.25 per cent and over the past five years government has been able to increase it to 86.6 per cent, saying the NPP government has been able to add only three percent to the electricity coverage in the country.