Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Appointment Committee vets more Ministerial nominees

Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister-nominee for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, on Tuesday told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that the automation of revenue agencies was critical to improving upon revenue collection.
     He said without the computerization of these agencies, it would be difficult to stamp out corrupt practices and stop the leakages in revenue mobilization for national development.
     Responding to questions from Committee members on the fourth day of vetting, Dr Duffuor said wages' growth should not be allowed to overtake revenue growth because the Government might find itself having to borrow to even pay the wages of workers.
    He said the stabilization of macro-economic indicators would be a top priority.
     Dr Duffuor touched on the saving habits, saying Ghanaians should be encouraged to learn to save with the banks to improve upon their economic fortunes.
    In response to a question that there were so many banks operating in the country with little improvement in the lot of many Ghanaians, he said it was an area that the Finance Ministry would take a look at.
    Dr Duffuor said Ghana's economy was challenged but the country should not be labelled as 'broke' since this could send wrong signals to investors.
    He described money as a spiritual commodity, which liked to operate in a good environment and, therefore, a negative description of the economy could bring about tension and drive away investors.
    He said the National democratic Congress (NDC) Government would work at assisting small businesses to create employment for the people.
    When Ms. Hannah Tetteh, Nominee for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, took her turn, she told the Committee that the NDC Government would review the viability of projects under the President's Special Initiatives (PSI) and restructure the programme to suit current needs.
     She said the Government would also develop the small and medium scale industries and look for on-lending finances and also build skills in the sector under a restructured National Board for Small-Scale Industries to push the nation forward.
     Ms Tetteh said programmes on food and agricultural processing would be pursued to help the economy to grow.
    She said as part of dealing with the global financial crisis and credit crunch, Ghana would pursue a programme of regional trade and create opportunities for Ghanaian products and services through ECOWAS.               
    Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Nominee for the Eastern Region, told the Committee that he would promote the development of local industries based on local resources available in the area.
    He touched on the bauxites deposits, local tourist attractions and other areas that would receive his attention to create employment for the people in the area.

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