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Ken Ofori Atta
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President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has promised to create a staggering 350,000 new jobs across the country through its flagship industrialization initiative – the ‘one district, one factory’ policy.

The initiative is expected to create 250,000 direct and indirect jobs while a new initiative – Nation Builders’ Corps – will add at least 100,000 to the figure (making it 350,000).

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta made these disclosures yesterday when presenting the 2018 Budget on the floor of parliament.

According to him, several promises made by the NPP in its 2016 Manifesto and the 2017 Budget statement had been delivered by the government.

Presenting the budget themed, “From Stabilization to Work; Putting Ghana to Work Again,” Mr Ofori-Atta described the achievements chalked so far by the NPP government (ten months in office) – given how little the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration had left in the nation’s coffers -as a “miracle.”

He indicated, “We promised to restore nursing trainee allowances, and we have delivered. We promised to end dumsor and we have delivered. We promised to reduce fertilizer prices by 50 percent and we have delivered,” among other programmes and policies.

“Mr. Speaker, we would like to assure Ghanaians that the government of Nana
Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a government which delivers on its promises:
We promised to implement a free senior high school policy and we have
delivered,” the soft-spoken minister added.

Jobs For Graduates

Additionally, the NPP administration has in the 2018 budget introduced an initiative called the Nation Builders/ Corps (NBC).

According to the finance minister, 100,000 youth (graduates) are expected to gain employment.

Data from the Institute of Statistics, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, suggest that only 10 percent of graduates find jobs after their first year of completing school.

The minister expressed the government’s belief that the NBC programme would improve the living standards of the youth, maintaining that it “will be a major government initiative to address livelihood empowerment and graduate unemployment to solve economic and social problems.”

Tax Holidays

Still on youth empowerment, Mr. Ofori-Atta announced that young business owners would receive some tax holidays to cushion their businesses and propel them for growth.

He disclosed that government would, through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), grant the tax holidays to the business owners based on the number of people they employ.

“As a further commitment to creating a supportive ecosystem for young Ghanaian entrepreneurs of age 35 years and below, who start their own businesses, government will through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), grant tax holidays based on the number of persons employed by a start-up or early-stage business,” he said.

According to him, “A preferential tax rate of between 3 and 5 years will be granted after the tax holiday.”
Source: Daily Guide

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