President John Mahama has said that Ghanaians who are not feeling the prosperity in the economy may be lacking the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities his government has created.
The president was fending off criticisms that his claims that the economy is buoyant are unsustainable because Ghanaians are not feeling it in their pockets.
“…The thing is, if you say feeling it in your pocket, it doesn’t mean that the President is going to come from place to place and count money and give to everybody to put in his pocket. The economy will provide the opportunities but it’s for the people to take advantage of them,” the President explained during an interview with Ho-based Volta Star FM, Thursday.
During his tour in the Eastern region last week, President Mahama asserted that Ghana’s economy was resilient despite the global economic downturn.
Some economists doubted the claim and said the economy is improving because of an IMF programme and not because of government policies.
Hitting back at his critics, President Mahama said his government is providing jobs and creating opportunities for people to make money.
Citing the World Bank and Economic Intelligence Unit reports, the President said all predictions for Ghana look very good.
“Recently the Economic Intelligence Unit published their report on Ghana and said that Ghana’s prospects from 2017 are very bright and even predicted that whoever wins the 2017 election will be in power for a very long time,” he indicated.
The President indicated that “You would envision that as the economy grows it throws out natural jobs that people can take advantage of but if you do not have the skill or you do not have the capacity to take advantage of a growing economy then you would not feel it in your pocket.”
He said the government employs some masons, contractors, carpenters and others for projects such as roads and the community day schools being built across the country.
President Mahama went on to explain that development is not an event, it is a process and people are often tempted to believe that the process is not moving because they are not part of it.
“If you sit in a plane, you hardly think that it is moving but when you are standing outside and you see it passing you know that it is moving at a very high speed,” he alluded.
Thousands of cocoa seedlings and free Agric extension advice, he said, are being offered to farmers in the northern part of the Volta region as part of measures to curb unemployment in the area.
President Mahama pointed out that government will continue to assist young people with the skills they need through the Youth Employment Agency Programme to access the available opportunities.
“And that is why we are doing the Skills Development Fund….there are many young people who are being trained in the Agricultural sector. If you go to the Adanse area there is a piggery project where people who are interested register and together with the University of Science and Technology they provide them with extension advice to produce pigs for the market…,” he added.
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