President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday urged stronger partnership between Government and the Private sector towards maximising the benefits of economic reforms for the wellbeing of all citizens.
“We should help each other, you in business, we in government, we should help each other because we have a common goal and that is how to develop our economy as rapidly and as effectively as possible so that we guarantee our people a better standard of living than they have now,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo made the call when he interacted with Chief Executive Officers and heads of businesses operating in the Tema Business enclave at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority Towers, in Tema.
The meeting is part of the activities of his three-day tour of the Greater Accra Region, which commenced on Tuesday.
A strong market economy in Ghana, the President explained, would be the most efficient and effective way of developing the country’s economy, thus, the private sector ought to form synergies with government to bolster those reforms to enable Ghana’s rapid development.
Touching on the paperless port clearing system and the new Ghana Revenue Authority Tax stamps, the President noted that though their implementation would come with some challenges, it was important to the realization of the reforms being implemented by the Government to create opportunities for economic growth.
“I think that as these other reforms that are being advanced, all of us should look at how best we can improve their performance….We can’t go back on some of these things because there are challenges. “
Commenting on the recent banking sector challenges, President Akufo-Addo stated that a vigorous, sane, and well regulated banking sector was the best guarantee of the competitiveness of businesses.
“Yes, the immediate impacts of those reforms have had an impact on liquidity on the system but the reverse of it is that at long last we are beginning to creates a banking sector that is fit for purpose.”
The Acting Director General of the GPHA, Michael Luguje lauded the President for his administration’s policies that were promoting the work of the port.
“We at GPHA believe that for this port to function properly, it will largely depend on clear policy direction from the highest levels of authority, beside our own efforts and you are showing that leadership.”
He observed that before the introduction of the Joint Inspection and the paperless port clearance system, there were lots of delays and frustrations before one could clear a single container.
But doing business at the ports now had improved, Mr Luguje disclosed, explaining, “For the first time GPHA was able to handle over one million metric tonnes of transit cargo last year, and transit traffic increased from 944,082 metric tonnes in 2016 to over 1.2 million tonnes in 2017, about 32% increase over the 2017 figures”.
He said the GPHA was in tune with the President’s vision of increasing and expanding Ghana’s export domain by concentrating on the export of high value or finished goods and had also increased private sector participation as a means of increasing employment opportunities at the ports.
Mr Luguje also said the government’s support in brokering the Liquified Natural Gas regasification project that would be directed within the port would not only rake in revenue for the Port Authority and government but also boost the country’s power capacity.
He lauded the Government in agreeing to build a third port at Keta as well as for signing agreement with the Burkinabe government to extend the rail line from Tema to Ouagadougou.
The President later commissioned an ice making plant at Nungua, and later held a durbar with the Chiefs and Fisherfolks from the coastal areas of Greater Accra at Nungua.