Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, says the 2022 Budget is aimed at bringing prosperity to the youth of Ghana.
According to the Damango MP, the 2022 budget is laying the building blocks for recovery, hope and satisfying the aspiration of the Ghanaian people in general.
The country has been grappling with graduate unemployment over the years with a recent world bank report putting the figure above 12%.
Mr. Jinapor believes the budget has measures targeted at building an entrepreneurial nation where the youth would be supported to pursue business ideas to create massive jobs.
Contributing to the budget debate on the floor of Parliament, Abu Jinapor admitted the country is currently experiencing some challenges.
He however assured President Akufo-Addo has adequately responded to these challenges flowing mostly from the ravages in the Covid-19 pandemic.
“What is important in times of challenges is for government to respond to its part of the social contract; the President Akufo-Addo administration is going to respond to its part of the social contract,” he assured.
The Lands Minister further argued a careful examination of all economic indicators under the Akufo-Addo administration points to a superior record as against that of the previous NDC administration. He pointed to GDP growth which until Covid-19 was above 7%.
Mr. Abu Jinapor argued President Akufo-Addo has the plan to resolve the unemployment situation in the country and is more than willing to stand by her people in these difficult times. Thus all the interventions that the NPP administration has rolled out such as NABCO, Planting for Food and Jobs, One-District-One Factory as means towards creation of employment.
“The use of these interventions demonstrates that President Akufo-Addo and his government have the ability to resolve the unemployment situation in our country.”
He singled out the “YouStart” program in the 2022 budget in which government has set aside Ghc1 billion for funding young entrepreneurs as a game changer in the nation quest to address the unemployment canker.
“What President Akufo-Addo is telling the youth of this country, the young men and women, You Start… You start something and whatever idea you have, get on with it.”
“If you want to build a business YouStart; if you want to get into IT, YouStart; if you want to get into agriculture, YouStart.”
“Government this year in this budget in 2022 is going to make provision of GH¢1 billion of counterpart funding, source funding from World Bank and source funding from the commercial banks,” he stated.
The Damango MP cited government’s huge investments in the education sector through Free SHS policy and the decision to extend to TVET as a testimony to the focus of the Nana Addo administration to set the future on Ghana on a very strong footing through youth empowerment.
Government is seeking to spend an amount GH¢137.5 billion for the 2022 fiscal year.
The amount, which is 27.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), represents an increase of 23.2 per cent over the 2021 projected outturn of GH¢111.6 billion. Out of the amount, compensation for employees is projected at GH¢35.84 billion, goods and services are also projected at GH¢9.14 billion, with interest payments projected at GH¢37.44 billion. Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) is projected at GH¢16.39 billion, with other expenditure, mainly comprising Energy Sector Levies (ESL) transfers, payments to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and financial sector costs (GAT capitalisation) also estimated at GH¢9.96 billion.