April 18, 2017

The government has given the financial clearance for 181 doctors and 11,000 health trainees to be employed this year. Some of the health trainees completed their training as far back as 2012 but remained at home.

Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, emphasised this on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, April 18, 2017. He was reiterating comments made by Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Joy News’ 100 days Town hall with the Vice.

Dr. Bawumia stressed whilst the Nana Akufo-Addo government didn’t set itself a 100-day target, it nonetheless made great strides in the time. He said government had chalked up significant achievements in about 103 areas in almost all the important sectors of the economy.

“103 achievements in 100 days,” he called it.

Giving impetus to Dr. Bawumia’s presentation, the Deputy Information Minister said, the NPP “looked at our manifesto as an agenda for our four-year term of office.” He said the Vice-President’s presentation “was to explain to the people of Ghana through [Joy News], what we have been doing in these 100 days.”

Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah stressed that Dr. Bawumia’s submissions should not be construed to mean that in the 100 days, “the full benefits of what we have been doing will [reflect] in everybody’s life.”

He said time goes on, the benefits of the government’s decisions and actions will become more and more apparent. About 15 different tax cuts have been made by the government which is bringing relief to companies, he stated.

Explaining why some of the tax cuts announced by the government have not taken effect, the Ofoase-Ayirebi Member of Parliament said, “it is important to understand the value chain of how things happen; first you read the policy, second you bring the amendment bills to parliament and have them passed; where we are now is to get the intervening agencies to fully translate the benefits to the people of Ghana.”

For instance, he said even though government has declared an intention to remove taxes on spare parts imported into the country, certain protocols have to be followed for this to happen.

“We have done a lot of work on spare parts; we have gone through the classifications; we are engaging with ECOWAS, when we are done and the policy implication is done by government, there would still be spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai, Kumasi and elsewhere who will now have the onus of translating what we are doing to benefit the people of Ghana,” he explained.

Touching on the vexed issue of VAT on financial services which Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced would be abolished but which it is reported hasn’t taken effect, the Deputy Minister said “as you do know, not even the Governor of the Central Bank can literally walk into a bank and stand at the door and say, ‘do this or don’t do that.’ If you take the case of taxes for example, even when it is passed, the Ghana Revenue Authority now has to issue guidelines [for implementation].”

He said the government was engaging with the relevant institutions to ensure that all the tax cuts reflect on beneficiary corporate organisations and individuals.