Help increase Ghana’s revenue: Prez tells NDPC

November 25, 2021 By 0 Comments

At a ceremony at Jubilee House, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, swore-in the 49-member National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) at a ceremony.

He has, among other things, charged the commission to helping develop measures to improve domestic revenue mobilisation for development.

The President also told the commission to, as a matter of priority, develop a strategy to improve domestic revenue mobilisation above the current 14 percent tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio.

President Akufo-Addo wants the members to “identify the ways and means to help enhance significantly the country’s capacity for domestic revenue mobilisation to realise its development potential, and thereby create opportunities for the vibrant and dynamic youth, and improve the livelihoods of all Ghanaians.”

Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio of 14.3% compares unfavourably with our peers in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the world over. Ghana, as the second largest economy in the ECOWAS sub-region, should not have one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the community.

“The average tax-to-GDP ratio in West Africa stands at 18%, and, indeed, the recommended ratio for ECOWAS member states is a minimum of 20%,” the President said.

“The average for OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) is 34%. It is, thus, no surprise that the developed nations of the OECD can readily find the means to fund their own development, particularly their infrastructure development, whereas we are constantly struggling to do the same. The NDPC should have this issue as a special focus,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Duplication in implementation

President Akufo-Addo further entreated the NDPC to synchronise and harmonise the multiple frameworks in existence, such as Ghana at 100, Ghana Beyond Aid, and the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme, into the national medium-term development policy framework 2022–2025, for purposes of national development.

He said the country also needed to develop pointers and tools to eliminate duplication in the implementation of policies and plans across all sectors, and at all levels.

President Akufo-Addo expects to see results, he told the commission. Therefore, development planning, he opined, must drive the agenda for building back better, the agenda for youth development, the agenda for entrepreneurial development, and, ultimately, the agenda for jobs.

The commission is chaired by Prof. George Gyan-Baffuor, former Minister of Planning. Other members include the Director General of the NDPC, Dr. Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, and ministers of State responsible for Finance, Health, Education, Food and Agriculture, Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Energy, Trade and Industry, Employment and Labour Relations, Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, as well as Gender and Social Protection.

The Commission also has the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, and the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, as members.

Representatives from all sixteen regions of the country are also part of the commission, as are development experts, economists, governance experts, environmental experts, and spatial planning experts.

In an acceptance speech on behalf of the commission, Prof. Gyan-Baffuor pledged to work with his team to put together a framework to capture the aspirations of Ghanaians, taking into consideration the technical and political imperatives of development.

“On behalf of my fellow commissioners, and on behalf of the Director General of the NDPC Secretariat, I wish to inform you that we have accepted the responsibility placed on us with all humility,” he added.