A Presidential aspirant of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, has said that the country can only achieve rapid economic growth under the NPP, adding that he is ready to offer the leadership that would see that happen.
He said if given the nod as flag bearer and subsequently as president, his immediate plan would be to restore macroeconomic stability which would reflect in a stable and reliable exchange rate as well as a stable Ghana Cedi.
“To do so, I will immediately review current government expenditure, thus reducing the structure of government.
This includes cutting down the government machinery, ministers and deputies, board membership,” he said in a statement outlining his key strategies for economic transformation.
He also said he would review one of the party’s flagship employment creation programmes, the “One District, One Factory” policy, to make it more effective.
“Ghana was not too long ago classified as the 10th fastest growing economy in the world.
It can only be done with the NPP in power.
I am ready to offer the leadership that will bring about that,” Dr Apraku stressed.
Dr Apraku, an economist, three-time Member of Parliament (MP), a former Minister of Regional Cooperation and New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD), also served as Minister of Trade and Industry in former President Kufuor’s administration.
Before joining the NPP presidential candidate race, Dr Apraku was the Commissioner for Economic Policy and Economic Research at the Economic Community of West African States.
He is one of the 10 flag bearer hopefuls seeking to lead the ruling party in the 2024 general election.
He pledged to utilise digital technology to improve revenue collection by ensuring compliance in the collection of taxes, fees and levies.
In addition, he would review existing taxes and set up an attractive system that would encourage individuals and businesses to pay taxes to the government rather than bribing officials to avoid taxes.
In the area of trade, he said he would embark on a value addition drive by first processing the nation’s cocoa, oil, bauxite, aluminium, timber, cashew, among others, before exporting them while engaging in import substitution with great emphasis on rice, using Nigeria as a case study.
“I will introduce the Domestic Content Law that encourages businesses, especially foreign firms, to use domestic raw materials and labour in their production,” he added.
The seasoned businessman also has the vision of maximising trade with exports to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which together have a population of 413.92 million and a total GDP of $ 724.70 billion annually.
As president, Dr Apraku plans on subjecting the government appointees, especially Ministers of State, to the approval of the NPP’s National Council and Executive Committee as a way of verifying their competence and acceptability by the party.
He vowed to undertake a constitution review to enable Regional Ministers and Chief Executives to be elected, buttressing his point with a quote from former President Reagan of the United States of America that says; “government closest to the people serves the people best.”