President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, has disclosed that his outfit is resolute in its position on the reversal of the controversial benchmark value discount policy.
According to him, the association has stated its position based on “research and the activities” of various enterprises and sectors they compiled and presented to the ministry of finance. Dr Ayim-Darke explained that AGI’s researches are scientifically collected in terms of research and its position remains unchanged so long as the benchmark policy does not favour them.
“So, AGI is resolute on its position, we are engaging government [and] we believe that it’s the right route for government to create sustainable jobs to complement its developmental paradigm in the space of industrialization. Therefore, we are engaging government with research and we believe government will do what is needful for the country regarding industrialization”.Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke
The AGI President clarified that it isn’t an issue of the AGI not willing to be “reasonable”, buttressing on the scientific data the association has tabled for consideration. Dr Ayim-Darke expressed that he is well aware of what the consequences of the policy will be in future, an observation his outfit has subsequently channelled to government.
“… Therefore, we believe, this will support government in reversing the various difficulties we are coming across as a result of COVID and other related economic difficulties”.Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke
Priorities of the new AGI President
The newly-inducted AGI President, commenting on his new role as the Association’s lead, outlined some crucial decisions he will make in his tenure. Dr Ayim-Darke emphasized that his first priority will be to strengthen the “internal systems” of the association pertaining to the machinery administration of the association throughout the country.
“The second priority goes into developing or deepening a mechanism for policy analysis and budget monitoring activities because the budget monitoring activities are the main documents through which government deploys its intentions across the country. So, it’s all about policy and our system for monitoring the budgetary activities that government has promised will do for the private sector”.Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke
Beyond that, Dr Ayim-Darke noted that he will capitalize on a few initiatives to strengthen the association. These include the Council of Eminent Industries, AGI Women in Business as well as the AGI Youth in Business.
“These are initiatives we seek to deploy to reach out to SMEs and individuals, complementing government’s efforts regarding entrepreneurship mind set and developing the entrepreneurial mind of the Ghanaian populace, especially the youth. So, these will be the major focus of my administration to strengthen the AGI and support any government coming in to employ and create jobs for the teeming youth and the women in business”.Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke
During his investiture, held on January 17, 2022, Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, charged government to prioritise, among other things, efforts at reducing the cost of electricity and the cost of credit to Ghanaian businesses. He explained that the affordability of the two would help make Ghanaian businesses to be competitive in the era of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Touching on key issues such as the path of industrialisation, Dr. Ayim-Darke called again for the reversal of the benchmark discount policy, urging government to pay particular attention to the persistent issue of cost of power and credit.