|President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his team|
According to President Akufo-Addo, GRA is “a central part of whether or not we are going to succeed as a nation. When we speak about wanting to build a Ghana Beyond Aid, what we are saying is that we should become, like all the progressive countries in the world, a country that depends on its own resources to buttress its own development, and not a country going around cap in hand begging for this or that.”
The President explained that Ghana should become a “country of dignity and pride, that is able to finance its own development. And, if we are going to be able to do that, you are at the cutting edge. If you succeed, Ghana succeeds. If you fail, we will fail.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Wednesday, 8th November, 2017, when he visited the Tema Harbour to interact with officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority, as well as apprise himself of the work being undertaken at the harbour.
He told the officials of GRA that “the work my government is doing depends so much on you. If you are able to meet our revenue targets, it will then mean that we would be able to finance the expenditures we would need in our social sectors, for our education, for our housing, for our health, amongst others”.
President Akufo-Addo added further that “we would then be able to invest in those parts of the economy that we would need to invest in to grow our economy, industry, trade and agriculture.”
He continued, “It is not by accident that we were the first of the black nations on the continent to become free from European colonialism. It is because generations of Ghanaians had fought and worked and mobilised to bring us to where we are today. We have a very proud past. But what will make that proud past count is if we have a prosperous and rich future.”
It is for this reason the President encouraged the GRA officials to bear in mind that “the time has come for us not to ‘chop’ Ghana small, but to make Ghana great. If that is where all of us are, we are going to build a Ghana that is going to be the wonder of this world. The world will then see that there are Africans capable of doing it.”
President Akufo-Addo, thus urged the GRA to be “sincere, active collaborators, co-operating to build the Ghana of our dreams. My part is to try to help define and design the policy. But you are the people responsible for executing it. If the execution is solid, Ghana is solid.”
Tema Port Expansion Project
Prior to visiting the Tema Harbour, the President visited the site of the Tema Port expansion project, where he reiterated the commitment of his government towards the rapid development of the country, which will put Ghana onto the path of progress and prosperity, during his tenure of office.
The Tema Port expansion, which is a $1.5 billion project, will improve Ghana’s trade competiveness, facilitate trade growth and improve revenue mobilisation. The project will also allow the Tema Port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, and improve cargo handling services and capacity.
Describing the project as an exciting development in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “we just have to wish that everything goes well, so you can meet the contractual deadlines. It is extremely important for the development of Ghana that such a development should take place. As you know, we are committed to a very rapid development of our country, especially its industrial and agricultural sectors.”
The rapid development of the country, according to the President, requires the necessary support infrastructure.
“This (Tema Port) is one of them, which will ensure that we will have in our country a 1st class port, modern and capable of receiving the biggest vessels in the world, and allowing us to accelerate the pace of our development and of our exchanges,” he said
President Akufo-Addo assured the partners of the project of government’s support to assist them in fulfilling their contractual obligations in bringing the project online.
“It is a massive undertaking. Some of our neighbours are also undertaking important port developments in Cote d’Ivoire and in Lome, Togo. I have seen the Lome facility myself, but I am sure they will not be superior to what we will have in Ghana,” a confident President Akufo-Addo added.