President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the newly inaugurated members of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to layout modalities to improve Ghana’s domestic revenue mobilization.
This, he said, would enable the Government to finance critical development needs, create jobs and improve livelihoods.
The President made the charge when he swore into office the 49-member governing body of the reconstituted NDPC at the Jubilee House, Accra on Tuesday.
Chaired by Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the body includes the Ministers of Finance, Health, Education, Food and Agriculture, Local Government and Rural Development, Energy, Trade and Industry, Employment and Labour Relations, Environment, Science Technology and Innovation, and Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Others include the Director-General of the NDPC, the Government Statistician, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, representatives from all the sixteen regions, as well as Governance, economic and development experts.
President Akufo-Addo told them that the NDPC must as a matter of priority, develop a strategy that would help Ghana widen its domestic revenue mobilization above its current 14 per cent tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio.
“You have to identify the ways and means to help enhance significantly the country’s capacity for domestic revenue mobilization to realize her development potential and thereby create opportunities for the vibrant and dynamic youth and to improve the livelihoods of all Ghanaians.
“Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio of 14.3% compares unfavourably with our peers in ECOWAS and the world over. Ghana as the second largest economy in ECOWAS should not have one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the community,” he said.
The average tax-to-GDP ratio in West Africa stands at 18% and the minimum recommended ratio for ECOWAS member states is pegged at 20%.
With OECD countries posting an average of 34 percent tax to GDP ratio, the President noted that It was no surprise that the developed nations of the OECD readily found the means to fund their own development, particularly, their infrastructure development, “whereas we are constantly struggling to do the same.”
“The NDPC should have this issue as a special focus,” he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo tasked the Commission to among others, harmonise the multiple frameworks such as Ghana at 100, Ghana Beyond Aid, and the CARES Obaatampa Programme into the National Medium Term Development Policy Framework, 2022-2025.
“I want to see results, therefore development planning must drive the following, agenda for building back better, agenda for youth development, agenda for entrepreneurial development, and ultimately, agenda for jobs,” he noted.
The President emphasised that beyond its core mandate of policy proposals, the NDPC must focus on facilitating the coordination of the country’s development processes to ensure the prudent use of the Ghana’s scares resources.
It should develop pointers and tools to eliminate the duplication and implementation of policies and plans across all sectors, and must focus primarily on promoting sustainable and stable development of the country to improve the quality of life of the citizenry.
The President charged the members of the Commission to leverage the rich experience at its disposal to advance the development of the country.
“You must rise to the occasion at this opportune moment to help promote the progress of our country. Relying on your collective skills, knowledge and experience, we should be able to create a more predictable, attractive and smart economy,” he said.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them and promised that the Commission would deliver on its mandate.
“Together with my members, we will work acidulously to put together a framework that captures the aspirations of our people taking into consideration the technical, political imperatives of development,” he said.