The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, has called on critics of the government to stop talking down the economy and making wild speculations about the cedi.
He said despite the modest gains that the country was making, some people had devoted themselves to talking down the economy even in the face of verifiable facts.
“We can have our differences but let’s stick to the facts,” he said.
Mr Terkper made the call at a ceremony in Accra where the government and the World Bank signed three agreements for a total of US$220 million towards strengthening three areas of the national economy.
Mr Terkper signed on behalf of Ghana while the new World Bank Country Director, Mr Henry G.R Kerali, signed for the Bank.
The first agreement would provide US$25 million for the transport sector project, US$45 million for the public financial management reform (PFMR) project and US$150 million as budgetary support.
Agreements proof of strides
Mr Terkper said the signing of the agreements with the World Bank was indicative of the strides that the country was making economically. “If the skeptics have any doubts, they ought to be cleared by the signing of the agreements,” he added.
Transport sector agreement
Throwing more light on the three projects, Mr Terkper said the agreement for the transport sector project was aimed at bridging the financing gap on the Ayamfuri-Asawinso road rehabilitation which had come about as a result of changes made in the implementation of civil works and the construction of selected roads on the Accra East Corridor.
He said the rehabilitation of the 52.2 kilometre Ayamfuri-Asawinso road was critical in the south-north transport corridor linking western Ghana, the timber and mineral rich areas and the neighbouring countries to the Takoradi Port.
The 15-kilometre Accra East Corridor roads, he said, were part of a network of arterial roads that linked suburban areas in the eastern part of Accra to the Central Business District and critical facilities including the Accra International Airport and the 37 Military Hospital.
Public financial management
On the agreement for the PFMR project, Mr Terkper said it was for the second phase of a reform aimed at strengthening public sector financial management (PFM).
He said the World Bank was supporting key elements of the new PFM reform strategy developed by the government.
He explained that the new PFM strategy sought to establish an efficient, transparent and accountable resource mobilisation, allocation and management, adding that the strategy had the goal of using fiscal resources to meet development priorities and commitments under the medium-term development policy framework.
Mr Terkper explained that the credit was expected to contribute to the attainment of key macroeconomic targets outlined in the budget, which include non-real GDP growth of 2.7 per cent, overall GDP including oil growth of 3.9 per cent, and end-year inflation target of 11.5 per cent.
The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mr Henry G.R Kerali, said the challenges Ghana was facing was typical of any country in transition, saying that “challenges are there to be addressed, let’s not run away from them. You cannot develop if you don’t challenge yourself”.