Professor John Gatsi, the Dean of School of Business of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has called for a ‘proper investigation and analysis’ into government’s ‘One District, One Factory’ policy to enhance efficacy.
He said Ghana’s industrial sector continued to record low growth despite the implementation of the much-touted industrialisation policy, questioning its contribution to industry.
Reacting to the 2024 Budget Statement in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), he noted that Ghana’s industrial sector grew by -2.5 in 2019; 0.9 in 2021; 1.9 in 2022; and -2.2 in the first half of 2023.
“Why should we be implementing the industrialisation policy of the government and then be having this particular record of growth in our industry sector,” he queried.
Prof Gatsi indicated that the sector would have been in a worse position but for the performance of the oil and gas sector and therefore, stressed the need to prioritise the development of that sector.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta in the Budget Statement projected the country’s economy to exceed GH¢1 trillion in 2024 compared to the GH¢219.5 billion in 2016.
“Mr. Speaker, with such a milestone ahead of us, Government is protecting, at all costs, the foundation for sustained economic expansion; a foundation that has been achieved through the sweat and patience of the Ghanaian people.
“We pledge to protect this for all our people and especially for private sector growth,” he said.
But Prof Gatsi said given the country’s growth trajectory since 2008, the projected growth was natural and expected.
Rather, he said government should take steps to ensure that the growth was evenly distributed across sectors, generating opportunities and employment, and sufficiently contributing to revenue generation.
“For instance, how much is agriculture contributing? How is industry faring? And how is service faring? These are the things that should bother our concentration,” he said.
Prof Gatsi further commended government for its decision to intensify property tax collection to shore up revenue.
“The property tax sector is underperforming in terms of revenue.
“It is an area we need to focus on to get more. So, coming out with a policy to enhance efficiency in the administration and collection of the tax is a laudable initiative,” he added.