President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he took robust and drastic measures which included the closure of the borders, as part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic because, in his view, a weaker response would certainly threaten the lives and livelihood of Ghanaians.
He noted that the impact of COVID-19 cannot be underestimated, hence the tough measures he adopted.
Speaking in the studios of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) on May Day, the President said: “As government and social partners, it is our collective responsibility to chart our own course out of this pandemic”.
“It is obvious that a weak response to COVID-19 will jeopardise the gains made to create a buoyant economy and will worsen the lives and livelihood s of all Ghanaians.”
The President also said he has charged Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to work with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to draft a policy that will further strengthen the industry and the agriculture sectors of the economy to mitigate and fix the economic damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President said his administration is determined to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic through innovative ways.
Mr Akufo-Addo said: “Discussions are ongoing with the World Bank to raise more funds which should be completed soon”.
“I have charged the Minister of Finance to work with the Bank of Ghana to design innovative policies and find more resources to strengthen the productive sectors of the economy, particularly industry and agriculture. I understand that the process will shortly yield positive results.”
He added: “The Minister of Finance and his South African counterpart, are leading the efforts of African ministers of finance to take debt reliefs for our economies.
“The World Bank has granted a debt repayment standstill for the next nine months, which will result in our delayed principal interest payments totalling $500 million.”
Mr Akufo-Addo further said that job creation is a priority for his government.
He said several measures have been taken to create jobs for Ghanaians and, or, create the enabling environment for Ghanaians to create jobs and wealth for themselves.
“Job creation is one of the priorities of this government,” he said, adding that it is a social contract with the people, hence bold steps have been taken to that effect.
He applauded workers for their contributions toward nation-building as Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate them.
“We recognise and appreciate the efforts and sacrifices they have made toward the construction of the happy and prosperous Ghana we seek, and, on this day, I say Ayekoo to each one of you,” Nana Akufo-Addo said in his May Day message to Ghanaian workers.