The NDC has launched an ambitious and far-reaching manifesto for the 2020 elections that seeks to fix the economy, unite against poverty and build an inclusive economy for all with an overarching emphasis on job creation, empowering Ghanaians to take the commanding heights of our economy and ensure social justice and inclusion.
Consistent with expectations regarding such a bold and promising agenda, questions have been asked as to how we intend to finance this programme, particularly the big push.
The big push is a catalytic strategy to invest about $10 billion into carefully crafted growth enhancing infrastructural renewal and transformational agenda over a five year period that will put Ghanaian youth and businesses to work by awarding these contracts to Ghanaian businesses.
The NDC has a fiscal strategy that will finance the big push and our flagship progranmes in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. The following are some of the sources of funding the big push and related programmes through resetting the fiscal framework, re-alligning and reprioritizing Government spending to priority projects to achieve resource allocation efficiency.
• We will review the capping and re-allignment arrangements for the current management and utilization of the GETFUND. Since 2017, Government has capped the proceeds to the Ghana Education Trust Fund by an average of GHC900 million a year. The total over the four year period ending December 2020 is estimated at about Ghc3.6 billion. Unfortunately, our children continue to attend schools in poor educational facilities with double track still in force. Together, we with re-aligning and refocusing of about just 50% of the existing funding of about Ghc2.2 billion a year of GETFund, an additional Ghc4.4 billion from Getfund proceeds will be available to fund educational related infrastructure over the term of the NDC Government from 2021 to 2024. In total, investment in education will top GHc8 billion in four years at an average of Ghc 2 billion a year from Getfund alone.
• We will review the capping and re-allignment arrangements for the current management and utilization of the NHIF.
Since 2017, Government has capped the proceeds to the National Health Insurance Fund by an average of GHC900 million a year. The total over the four year period ending December 2020 is estimated at about Ghc3.6. Together with -realigning and refocusing of about just 50% of the existing funding of about Ghc2 billion of NHIF, an additional Ghc4 billion from NHIF proceeds will be available to fund health related infrastructure over the term of the NDC Government from 2021 to 2024. In total, investment in health delivery will top GHc7.6 billion in four years at an average of Ghc 1.9 billion a year from NHIF alone.
• The capping and re-allignment of the road fund alone is estimated to have taken about GHc2.4 billion from the road fund in the four year period ending December 2020. We intend to review the law Governing the road fund to enable us allocate that money to support critical road infrastructural development.
• Over the last three years Ghana has consistently raised US$3 billion Eurobonds a year to finance that budget and for liability management. Out of this amount, $2 billion has always been earmarked for expenditures in the budget and a further $1 billion to re-finance maturing debt obligations.
Unfortunately, Government has tended to spend in excesss of 70% of our borrowings from Eurobonds to finance consumptions expenditure at the expense of capital or infrastructure. Whilst we will work towards increasing revenue mobilization and fasttrack fiscal consolidation, we intend to allocate a minimum of $ 1.5 billion a year from any deficit financing arrangements to fund the big push. This resetting of fiscal framework alone will contribute about $6 billion in four years to deliver the big push agenda.
• In summary, the following revenue yield from resetting the fiscal framework and re-prioritising budgetary allocations will contribute to funding the big push and other promises in our manifesto;
• Getfund capping review and re-prioritising GHc8 billion
• NHIF capping review and re-prioritising GHC7.6 billion
• Road Fund capping review and re-allignment GHc2.4 billion
• Re-prioritisation of deficit financing GHC36 billion
• Total big push for four out of five year plan GHc54 billion
• The estimates regarding the estimated proceeds from Getfund levies and NHIL are very conservative and assume that these revenues will remain constant without growth in the planned period contrary to historical evidence of an average growth of about 15% year on year on nominal basis.
Hon.Isaac Adongo is the Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central.