President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cautioned multinational companies in the country to desist from engaging in activities that lead to capital flight, as his government will not condone the practice of such illicit outflows.
The President noted that the country’s journey towards self-sufficiency is hinged on ensuring that big players in the economy, such as the mining, oil and telecommunication companies, pay their correct taxes.
“For too long, such companies have been the source of the massive flight of capital from our country and our continent. I am a firm believer in honest profits, but I will not condone illicit financial outflows,” President Nana Addo noted.
The President made these comments when he addressed the third Ghana CEO Summit, on the theme ‘Leadership, innovation and investment for business and economic transformation’, at the Kempinski Hotel yesterday.
He emphasised that making the Ghana beyond aid agenda a reality requires a fundamental rethink of domestic and international resource mobilisation, as well as finding workable ways of building a resource base and reserve through comprehensive and intensive strategies of revenue mobilisation.
“Ghana beyond aid will require that we do things differently. It will demand of us new approaches to governance and, above all, a paradigm shift in the financing of our development.”
Furthermore, the President emphasised the importance of skills training and vocational education as key to dealing with youth unemployment, as well as sharpening the country’s competitive edge in global trade and commerce.
He said the Free SHS policy and the scaling up of technical, vocational and education training to supply the skills needed to build a modern economy is indicative of how his government intends to build a modern, diversified and transformed economy.
“I am, thus, calling on industry to become active stakeholders in the development of education by funding programmes whose returns will yield dividends for industry and quicken our journey towards self-reliance.”
Viable financial sector key
The President also noted that the viability of the banking and financial sectors of the country is critical in the quest for rapid economic development and investment growth, and thus charged the Bank of Ghana to ensure the growth of indigenous banks.
Making reference to recent events on the banking scene in the country, the President urged all to allow the regulator to deal with the issues and restore sanity and confidence in the sector.
He averred that any loss of confidence in the banks has ripple effect on the stability of the economy as a whole.
“I want to urge all of us to allow the regulator, which is the central bank, to deal with these matters and restore sanity and confidence. It is in all our interests that all financial matters are dealt with professionally and without political interference, no matter how tempting.”
Nonetheless, the President said it is important that the regulator recognises that a banking sector dominated by foreign-owned banks does not augur well for the Ghana beyond aid project.
“It is essential that indigenous banks grow and survive in any meaningful reform of the banking system. I am confident that the regulator, the Bank of Ghana, appreciates this.”
The President assured the business community of his government’s commitment to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and contribute to the country’s development agenda.
“The government has every interest in your businesses growing and in you making money. Making legitimate money by contributing to the growth of the national economy is something we should all applaud. For myself, I have no reservations whatsoever about promoting the success of our entrepreneurs as something vital to the development of our country. Ghana would be a much better place when we have lots of wealthy people.”