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‘Focus on stimulating private sector’

Dec. 29, 2016, 10:06 a.m.

Some private businessmen have urged the incoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to focus on stimulating the private sector to improve the fortunes of the ailing economy.

They also called on the incoming government to consider involving the private sector in the implementation of some of the intended development initiatives, including the one-district-one-factory policy as pledged by the party.

These sentiments were expressed by a number of businessmen interviewed by the Daily Graphic in Accra prior to the celebration of Christmas. The interview centred on job creation and measures to improve the economy.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Simple Design, Mr Lionel Acquah, said the decision of the incoming government of the NPP to create an enabling environment for the private sector, which is the engine of growth for the economy, was very laudable.

“The inclusion of the private sector in the implementation of government projects would enable the sector to grow and more jobs will be created as a result,” he said.

The CEO of Lofty Clothing, Mr Louis Owusu, said it would be very helpful if the incoming government put in place policies that favoured partnership with the private sector in executing government projects.

He said the situation where foreign firms received a large percentage of government contracts was unfair to local businesses, considering the huge taxes that local businesses paid to government.

“Giving contracts to the private sector would help create jobs for the youth in the country,” he said.

Private sector inclusion

A communications specialist, Mr Samuel Ato Afful, said the NPP government should invite the private sector to participate in managing certain sectors of the economy such as electricity and sanitation.

He said the inclusion of the private sector in managing the economy would motivate private establishments to do more while engendering a competitive environment, which is good for growth.

A lecturer at the African University College of Communications (AUCC), Miss Korkor Leeyoo Watson-Nortey, urged the incoming administration to focus on education.

She said the next government would have to create an enabling environment that would allow private universities to thrive in order that they may provide qualitative education for the masses.

“If private universities are strengthened, they would be in a position to enrol more students,” she said.

According to her, there were many young people at home who qualify for admission to universities and tertiary institutions but were unable to do so because they could not afford fees being charged.

Global challenges

The Director of Corporate Communications of AUCC, Mr Ogochukwu Chidiebere Nweke, said the challenges that Ghana was facing were mainly of a global nature and as such urged the public not to raise their expectations too high of an economic turnaround by the incoming administration.

“I think we must all embrace the reality that whatever is going on in the country is as a result of global challenges and so it will not be fair to expect too much from the NPP,” Mr Nweke said.

He, however, urged the incoming administration to put forth an agenda that would ensure that the country enjoyed steady progress.