Government Needs GH¢760 Million Annually - Vice President Mahama

Vice President John Dramani Mahama has convened stakeholders meeting in Accra on Friday, with a call on Ghanaians to offer constructive criticisms and advice that could help government live up to her responsibilities. He said:“The economy belongs to all Ghanaians and not only Government, and there is the need for collaboration at all levels to ensure that the right thing is done for the betterment for all of us.” The meeting, which was attended by the Economic Management Team, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Trades Union Congress was to give participants the opportunity to brainstorm, find solutions to problems and mitigations for the hardships Ghanaians were enduring as a result of the increases in petroleum products. The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, would also give the stakeholders the opportunity to come out with likely bottlenecks that the business community and the public might experience in the succeeding weeks. The Vice President said Government was battling with an outstanding $80 million debt that was incurred as a result of subsidizing petroleum products, and until that was cleared, the country could experience shortage in fuel. Vice president Mahama said that Government needed GHC 760 million to continue subsidizing fuel annually, an amount he said could be used to undertake development projects across the country. He attributed economic hardship to increase in salaries, payments of Single Spine Salary Structure to Government workers among others and that “under the circumstances, there was nothing we could have done, but to remove the subsidies on fuel. And painfully increase fuel prices”. The meeting was attended by Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, Mr Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Mr Alex Frimpong, Chief Executive Officer of GEA and representatives of the NPA and AGI.