The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says they are committed to ensuring that the unemployment rate in the country reduces drastically, when voted to power.
Addressing a press conference Wednesday, the NDC National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, provided details of how the next NDC government under the leadership of John Mahama will implement poverty eradication policies to create one million jobs as promised in their 2020 manifesto.
Gyamfi said a crack team of policy experts in the NDC will adopt a multi-sectorial strategy to ensure that the promise is fulfilled to create wealth for Ghanaians.
“Our plan is to stimulate the creation of sustainable jobs by creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive,” Sammy Gyamfi said as he enumerated the programmes to be implemented to achieve that.
The private legal practitioner also noted that the next NDC government will significantly reduce the cost of doing business in Ghana through tax cuts to keep smaller businesses afloat, expand their scope, and create sustainable jobs.
He said Ghana’s continuous decline on the World Bank’s ratings on the ease of doing business index under the Nana Akufo-Addo government is mainly due to high tax payments.
“The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and other bodies have had cause to lament the crippling effect of high tax payments on their businesses under this government,” he said.
So the next NDC/Mahama government will provide tax rebates for businesses such as:
– A total scraping of the 25% corporate income tax for small businesses
– A reduction of Corporate Income tax for medium-scale businesses from 25% to 15%.
– A two (2) year Corporate Income tax exemption for newly incorporated medium-scale businesses that employ 20 people and above.
– A two-year tax holiday for youth startups and businesses.
– Reverse the increment in VAT that the Akufo-Addo government has introduced through the backdoor which has made it impossible for businesses to claim Input Tax Credit/refunds on 5% NHI and GETFund levies.
– Scrap Import Duty on commercial vehicles and equipment imported into the country for agriculture, or agribusiness or industrial purposes.
These tax rebates will go a long way to reduce the cost of doing business so that businesses are able to inject the savings into their businesses for the creation of more jobs,” he said.
The NDC also intends to provide cheap credit to Ghanaian businesses using the Ghana EXIM bank that the erstwhile Mahama government established in the year 2016.
The NDC also intends to roll out what it calls the Big Push, a $10 billion investment in infrastructure development across the country to close the infrastructure deficit facing the nation.
“It is worth mentioning that only local contractors, local architects, local artisans, local materials etc. will be used under this policy as a way of supporting Ghanaian indigenous businesses,” Sammy Gyamfi said.
This is expected to create 90,000 jobs in the entire construction value chain every year.
The NDC also said it will create jobs by improving Agriculture and Agribusinesses for both the domestic and export markets.
“Currently, more than 50% of Ghana’s workforce are engaged in Agriculture. However, Agriculture contributes only a paltry 17% of Ghana’s GDP. That is to say, the country uses more than half (more than 50%) of its total workforce to produce just 17.3% of its wealth. What this means is that, majority of our population are wallowing in abject poverty,” the NDC Communications Officer said.
He said the vision of the NDC is to rapidly transform Agriculture through modernisation and mechanisation, with key focus on agribusiness as a means of creating sustainable jobs to liberate Ghanaians from poverty.
These policies in this area will be anchored on:
– Increasing local production of cereal crops, starchy staple legumes, vegetables and other food products, through Agric mechanisation and modernization, predicated on the reintroduction of Agric Mechanisation Centers (AMSEC).
– Increasing the local processing of our local produce into secondary products through agribusinesses. “We will create Agro-production and processing zones in all major crop-producing areas across the country to provide farming/production, processing and marketing assistance to farmers in these zones.
– Credit to promote Agriculture and Agribusiness.
The NDC also intends to restructure rural credit and the Ghana Eximbank to improve credit to strategic agriculture and agribusiness activities and also incentivize the financial sector to devote a sizable amount of credit to agriculture and agribusiness.
Another area of focus for the NDC’s Jobs Agenda is the Pharmaceutical Industry.
– Roll out a Pharmaceutical Industry Financial and Technical Support Programme to expand the existing infrastructure and introduce modern technology into their operations to improve production.
– We will also assist local pharmaceutical companies to secure licences to produce generic drugs for the local and sub-regional markets and prioritize the procurement of Made-in-Ghana drugs for the Ghana Health Service.
This we project will create thousands of sustainable jobs for Ghanaians over a period of four (4) years.
The NDC says it intends to create thousands sustainable jobs through light manufacturing.
– Set up a Gold Board (GOLDBOD) for the small-scale mining sector, to provide mining support services to the sector, ranging from concession viability, health, safety and efficiency in mining operations, equipment financing and mining input, research and standardization, gold recovery optimization as well as post-mining, and land reclamation services.
– We shall also put a ban on the export of unrefined gold produced by the small-scale mining companies in Ghana, and establish gold refineries in gold producing regions of the country in conjunction with the private sector to refine our gold for exports.