Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance
Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance

Coming November will be the defining moment in the future of Ghana’s economy, Minister for Finance, Kenneth Ofori-Atta hinted here on Tuesday.

Addressing the media after the inauguration of a national tax policy dialogue, the minister said the time was ripe for Ghanaians to own the kind of country they relish, going into the future.

“November for us will be the defining moment in the county’s economic future as we are coming of the IMF Program. It is clarity for us as to how the gains we have made are going to be irreversible,” he told the media.

The minister relished a period during which the country would be able to generate revenue to support its own development agenda while in the end get all citizens to “own the future that we are talking about.”

For this reason, Ofori-Atta considered two important elements critical: “whether we will ensure that everybody who has to participate in revenue generation does so; and we as government also creating efficiency in expenditure so that we do not have leakages and bloated budget.”

According to him, as it comes out of the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the West African country would have to chart a new course for its economy, with the 2019 budget to be read in November.

Ghana seeks to improve its revenue-GDP ratio from the current 15 percent rate , however Value Added Tax compliance rate remains at a low of 11 percent.

“That is very low,” the finance minister observed, pledging that there was an issue of technology that would be addressed, and basically address the issue of the general attitudes of Ghanaians .

For Senyo Hosi, Economic policy analyst and spokesman for the Chamber of Bulk Petroleum Distributors, any country that wished to develop beyond aid, as Ghana sought to do, must have citizens sacrificing a little for this process.

“We cannot have a ‘Ghana Beyond aid”; with us Ghanaians not actively driving that process. So we have a role to play. We just need to make sure that the administration is effective. It is going to cost us a bit more as citizens,” Hosi stated.

He however noted that there were administrative issues that needed dealing with as well as the need to give clarity in the law that may be required.

“It has implication towards cost. But everybody has to give up something to build the nation and it starts with us as a people,” he added. Enditem

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