The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says the government’s decision to employ some 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corps (NBC), is a right move to deal with the worrying unemployment situation.
He said the country required sustainable measures to help provide jobs for the youth to avoid serious problems in the future.
Mr. Ofori-Atta, who was speaking at the PwC 2018 budget forum, said the programme would be planned to ensure that it did not negatively affect the public sector wage bill.
The forum is an annual initiative by the PwC to help break down government policies as announced in the budget to partners and stakeholders of the audit and accounting firm.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said the graduates would be engaged in critical areas such as; the collection of taxes, enforcement of sanitation rules and delivery of health and education services in the various district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said the NBC was a well-thought-out programme meant to address the national security risk posed by growing graduate unemployment.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund would be reviewed to allow for additional resources to be committed to the fund.
He said the move is to restructure the Fund to allow for mobilization of foreign and private capital for critical infrastructure development.
“We are looking at the GIF law so that we move the fund to about US$1 billion or even US$2 billion to be a key player in our infrastructure drive,” he stated.
The GIIF was established in 2014, in pursuant to the GIF Act, Act 877 of 2014, with the mandate to provide financial resources to manage, coordinate and invest in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects in the country for national development.
Dr. Eric Osei-Asibey, a lecturer at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, commended the government for fiscal consolidation and a stable economy, but wondered if the growth would be sustainable over the medium to long-term.
On lending rates, Dr. Eric Osei Asibey, urged the government to put in place measures that would ensure a rapid decline of lending rates in the country, insisting that the move would be a major first step to ensure private sector drive inclusive and sustainable growth.
However, he said there was the need for government to adopt measures to mobilize enough domestic revenue to avoid a cut in expenditure to ensure fiscal consolidation.
“If you want to ensure fiscal consolidation, you look at either increasing your revenue generation or cutting expenditure or a combination of the two, but we have so far achieved fiscal consolidation largely because we cut expenditure and that is good, but to what extent can we continue to do that,” he explained.
Mr. Abeku Gyan-Quansah, Associate Director, PwC Ghana, said it was time stakeholders developed a home grown dispute resolution mechanism to deal with business disputes between partners.