Government will take measures to protect local businesses from foreign competitors, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has said.
In response to concerns raised by the President of the Association of Ghana Industries , James Asare Adjei on competition from foreign investors at the maiden National Policy Summit, the Minister said there should be no apologies over government’s desire to see local companies flourish at the expense of foreign ones.
“There should be no apologies about a preference that the world knows that we are going to be bias towards our[Local] companies within the framework of whatever we have. I think boldness should come and we should be clear about that …
“When we were even talking to the Millennium Challenge Account, Cabinet and the presidency went back and said unless it is majority Ghanaian owned concession, we are not taking it..so this thing about being timid and we can’t, I think the world should begin to know, foreign investors who are coming should begin to know that it’s Ghana first and indigenous Ghanaians.
I can’t think that I am going to be waking up at 4am, coming to the ministry and working until 11pm and by the time I wake up in ten years I have built this country for foreigners, it’s no.”
We are sorry for expunging names
The Minister also asked civil servants whose names were wrongfully expunged from the payroll to forgive his outfit.
He explained that the exercise had to be undertaken to protect the public purse, but was quick to apologise to all whose names were mistakenly deleted.
“…We did an exercise recently in which quite a number of people were taken out of the payroll. We’ve had some remarks from some unions, but the real question for all of us in the country is that we know that there is some rot in there, we know we need to take some action and in the process of taking the action a few wrong eggs will be broken and we should apologise for that,” the Minister explained.
Gov’t to undertake reforms
Mr. Ofori Atta further reiterated government’s commitment towards implementing reforms in the economic management of the country.
This, he said, will lay the foundation for the country’s industrial take-off.
“The issue that keeps resounding in my mind is one of what we started talking about-irreversibility. How do we create other institutions or policies which do not enable too much political freedom on core things that we as a country believe in?
The capping of the earmarked funds is a sign of that type of irreversibility and therefore it is in that same vein that we should begin to look at whether it is revenues or expenditures or wages to reduce that operative margin, especially in election year to ensure that we do not go back to the bad old ways.”