Aspiring flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, says prioritising agriculture will solve Ghana’s fiscal problems.
He noted that the country’s overreliance on revenue from oil and gold exports have failed to satisfy the fiscal needs of the country.
This he says is evidenced by the country’s 17-times visit to the International Monetary Fund since independence.
He noted that without a paradigm shift from the extractive industry to agriculture, the country would fail to experience its desired development.
Dr.Owusu Akoto Afriyie
“Our problems are to do with what we call cash flow, okay, so we’re having to go and borrow and borrow and borrow every now and then. Ghana has been to IMF 17 times since independence, 66 years, and we’ll continue to do that until we find a source of reliable foreign exchange and fiscal surpluses to build our country.
“We’ve been digging gold in Obuasi for how long? Over a hundred years. Where has that gotten us? We’re the second biggest gold producer. Where has that gotten us? It has just gotten us into the hands of the IMF. Oil, which President Kufuor’s time was discovered was going to take us out of our many problems, what has it done? Oil production recently has been going down.
“So these things won’t solve our problem. If we rely on gold and oil and all those things we will forever go back to the IMF and IMF and IMF. We’ll continue to borrow and this significant economic development that we all wish could happen will never happen,” he said on PM Express on JoyNews.
The former Agriculture Minister said prioritising agriculture would ensure a stable cash flow for the country to finance its development agenda.
According to him, the Akufo-Addo administration has provided a solid foundation for that shift and when given the nod, he intends to build upon it.
“Agriculture is one reliable sector which can give us the cash flow to enable us to fund all our activities; to fund our industrial development, our health, our education, our infrastructure, the motorways and the bridges and all those things that we want. It is the only one.
“But we haven’t been prioritised it enough to do that. That is my thesis. And what we have done, the Akufo-Addo government has done is to provide the foundation upon which this can happen,” he said.Source: Cornerlis Kweku Affre