Press zooms in on 2022 budget statement, economic policy, others

The report that the 2022 budget statement and economic policy expected to be presented to Parliament next week Monday will…

The report that the 2022 budget statement and economic policy expected to be presented to Parliament next week Monday will focus on jobs and skills training for the youth to address the growing unemployment in the country is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Ghanaian Times reports that the 2022 budget statement and economic policy expected to be presented to Parliament next week Monday will focus on jobs and skills training for the youth to address the growing unemployment in the country, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said.

“Clearly, the 2022 budget and economic policy will be intervening on access to jobs and skills set, making it possible and providing the enablers to free people into enterprise,” he said during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Government of Ghana and the African Development Bank (AfDB)  and the African Development Fund (ADF)  for 2022 annual meetings.

Ghana will host the AfDB and AFD annual meetings from May 23-27 next year, which is expected to review the performance of the bank in the 2020 financial year.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the budget would also come with measures to cushion the citizens of the effects of the rising prices of fuel.

Turning his focus on the upcoming annual meetings, the Finance Minister said AfDB must lead the charge of reducing widespread poverty in Africa.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had brought Africa to a tipping point and leadership, both regional and non-regionals, had to push towards re-orienting the global status quo and becoming agents for transformation and social change.

The newspaper says that President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, has bemoaned efforts of government at protecting the public purse and has described the effort as an illusion.

The Bishop, who was addressing religious faithful at the opening of a five-day plenary assembly by the Conference at Wa on Monday, stated that “the expressed commitment of the President of the Republic to protect the public purse, a promise which was welcomed by citizens seems to be an illusion now”.

He emphasised that the misapplication of the nation’s resources by people in power had become an issue of concern to citizens in the face of less action on perpetrators of the unfavourable act.

“Are those managing the public purse not concerned about the waste and misapplication of resources that belong to all Ghanaians, can this be referred to as irresponsible use of power or lack of empathy and compassion,” he queried.

Most Rev.Naameh hinted that there had been concerns about good governance in terms of managing public resources for the general good of citizens as efforts to reduce corruption to the barest minimum was fast becoming a mirage in the country and needed to be reconsidered to enhance the development of the area.

“Perceived corruption and corruptible practices by politicians and other politically exposed persons are taking a toll on the national economy and making the poverty situation more dismal and progressive,” he stressed.

Most Rev.Naameh who is also the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamaleindicated that growing poverty was further widening the gap between the rich and the poor in the country and making living conditions worse for the underprivileged who suffered the repercussions of the corrupt deeds of the minority in power.

“Prices of essentials are rising daily, people seem to struggle to keep families and lives together as poverty stares us in the face and it appears no one is taking note,” he lamented and called on government to have a second look at its commitment to the welfare of the citizens in the country.

He called on politicians to use the power that were vested in them by the citizenry for the good of the people, stating that “power when used with compassion and empathy in truthfulness and humility benefited the very fibre of society”.

The Graphic reports that the Ministry of Health (MoH) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two Italian organisations to collaborate to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

The two organisations are Gruppo San Donato and Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele.

The signatory entities have agreed to jointly develop a model health centre of excellence in the country to improve on healthcare delivery and outcomes.

The parties have also committed to support and encourage cooperation in distant medical consultations for international patients.

The MoU is expected to provide a legal framework within which the parties may conduct their relationship and set out modalities of cooperation for improved health care.

It was signed on the side-lines of the second European Corporate Council on Africa and Middle East (ECAM) in Italy, which started on October 31 this year.

The 2021 Conference was dubbed: “New Ways to Care”.

Ghana’s team at the conference was led by the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

Ahead of signing for the country, Mr Agyeman-Manu said while the MoU did not create any contractual relationship between the parties, it set the grounds for the parties to work together in the true spirit of partnership.

The newspaper says that former President John Dramani Mahama has said that Ghana is in a state of despair.

According to Mr Mahama, he discovered the hopelessness after touring the country to thank Ghanaians for their votes in the 2020 election.

In a television interview on Accra based TV XYZ on Tuesday, November 8, 2021, ahead of his last “Thank you” tour in Greater Accra, Mr Mahama said the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the lies of the government.

He said that he observed during his tour across the country that: “We’re in a state of despair; people are sad, people have regretted because this is not what the government promised them.”

“Before the elections, they did a lot of things, i.e., free water, free light, free this and they spent GH¢11.9 billion of the COVID funds from March to December and a lot went into convincing people”.

“They gave small business loans via MoMo of about GH¢2,000 but today, we are all paying that back,” he stated.

According to the 2020 flagbearer of the main opposition NDC, the economy is in tatters.

He said: “Very soon the finance minister will be presenting the budget and you’ll realise the economy is in tatters”.

“They said the economy was resilient and the vice-president said if there was any external shock, for six months, Ghana will not need any external intervention. But within two weeks of COVID, we went to the IMF for money. What happened to that resilient economy?” he quizzed.

In his view, everything the government promised and said was “lies”.