Despite a delay in the presentation which spurred some panic and unrest between Ghana’s parliamentary members, the country’s national budget for next year was finally presented today.
The budget for Ghana this year is expected to focus on the restoration of the Ghanaian economy as is evident with the insistence to include the International Monetary Fund’s $3 billion bailout loan.
As is customary, a few parliamentary members took to the podium to speak before the presentation of the budget by the finance minister.
The budget was presented and a few things stood out. Below are five of some of the more interesting allocations in Ghana’s 2023 national budget.
Fertilizers: The finance minister stated that efforts need to be intensified in order to ramp up local production of food. Food shortages have been a prevalent problem in Sub-Saharan Africa since the year began and Ghana is no exception. The finance minister noted that granting farmers access to fertilizers in an urgent way to increase agricultural yield in the country and a budget would be allocated to local fertilizer producers.
He said the government was also facilitating the establishment and the expansion of local organic fertilizer production plants with support from the EXIM Bank.
Youth empowerment: The YouStart programme which was launched this year would be receiving a huge financial boost courtesy of the budget. The finance minister stated that the government had successfully signed an MoU with the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) and 11 other commercial Banks for the implementation of the commercial component of the program. This program so far is estimated to benefit as much as 70 youth led SMEs.
Importation cut downs: The Ghanaian government is keen on increasing the manufacture of local products within the country and as such has pledged to support local producers via an allocated budget. Asides this, the finance minister assured that 50% of all imports would be halted. He said the government would also support the aggressive production of strategic substitute goods.
Debt restructuring: During his address the finance minister stated that despite the country’s the heightened debt levels, the government is committed to controlling those figures. The finance minister said the government will implement a debt exchange program to address the challenges identified in the portfolio in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders including the Ghanaian public, investor community and development partners.
Regulation of vehicles: The finance minister said that the use of V6 and V8 engines would be controlled. A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross country travel would be implemneted. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023;