THE British High Commissioner in Accra, Mr. Nicholas Westcott, has asked the government to tackle deficiencies in the energy sector with urgency to help promote accelerate growth and development of the economy.
He said there is the need to transform the efficiency of the energy sector to ensure economic growth.
“Years have gone by, and still the problems facing Tema Oil Refinery, the Volta River Authority and the Electricity Company of Ghana remain.
They continue to consume taxpayers’ money in subsidies or arrears without delivering the quality service necessary to underpin growth,” he stressed.
Mr. Westcott stated this at a high-level Ghana Consultative Group Meeting in Accra yesterday.
It was on the theme, “Managing the Transition to a Middle Income Economy with an emerging oil sector-the role of ODA in sustaining National Development”.
The meeting brought together key government officials, development partners and civil society organizations to discuss ways of promoting the country’s growth, reducing poverty and expanding economic and social opportunity for the people.
It also focused on how to accelerate progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals and determine a clear policy framework for Ghana within the next three years.
Mr Westcott was optimistic that with the right policies in place, Ghana should be able to free itself from requiring any substantial volume of traditional aid within the next five to 10 years.
We need sustainable and equitable growth through a stable macro-economic environment and sound policies,” he said, and gave the assurance that the development partners would support the government to transform the economy.
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the country was on the threshold of a transition into a middle income status.
He stressed, the need to device strategies to achieve and sustain the targets set in the Millennium Development Goals by, systematically reducing and poverty, inequalities in access to public goods besides strengthening institutions of economic and social governance.
Dr. Duffuor said the government would continue to double its effort to adjust tariff to ensure full cost recovery in the energy sector while ensuring that the increases did not impact adversely on the weakest in society.
He said with the oil and gas find, the Ghanaian economy would soon be transformed.
Dr. Duffuor said Ghana and its traditional and non-traditional development partners must therefore continue to engage in dialogue to build a strong economy.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, noted that the country’s external sector had remained favourable through higher export earnings and higher donor and foreign investment inflows.
He said as at the end of August, Ghana’s Gross International Reserves were US$3.3 billion in excess of import cover.