Government is working towards a three-year revitalisation plan to help companies and organisations to get back on their feet following the impact of the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In line with this, the government will, in the mid-year budget, outline a road map, dubbed: “Ghana Cares Programme”, aimed at propelling the country on its journey to recovery.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, said this at the installation of a new governor for Lions Clubs District 418, Ghana for the 2020-2021 ‘Service Year’.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the programme, which would be put together by the Finance Ministry, sought to ensure that civil society and organisations such as the Lions Clubs, would become strong advocates to provide a credible medium for information and support to the vulnerable as well as support the government in its initiatives.
Members of the Ghana Lions Clubs at the installation of the new District Governor
He noted that COVID-19 had severely impacted the significant socio-economic gains made by the country and “that had necessitated a revision of our economic growth for this year.”
He said while inflation was 7.2, we were now inching up at 11.3, adding that there were currently shortfalls in revenue, with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), predicting an 18 to 20 per cent decline in government revenues while expenses had gone up by over 20 per cent.
All of us know that we are facing job losses in the hospitality and tourism industries due to closures of borders, and a general slowdown in the demand for international travel.
The Finance Minister recalled that COVID-19 ‘threw all of us for a loop’ saying that nothing could have prepared any nation for the global impact of this crisis.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government, through prudent management of the economy, could speak of realising improvements such as doubling of economic growth from 3.4 to 7 per cent, a commendable downward trend of inflation from 15.4 to 7.2 per cent in December 2019 and a consistent fall in interest rate; cleaning up of our financial sector and winning the confidence of our investors through our Eurobond issues”.
Mr Ofori-Atta recalled the efforts put in by the government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which included contact tracing, testing, isolation, food packages, provision of free water and electricity for three months and the support given to frontline workers.
He reminded the public to protect themselves by following the personal hygiene and safety protocols prescribed.
The outgoing District Governor, Lion Dr Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu, stated that Ghana achieved a District status in 2018 at the International Convention of Lions Clubs in Las Vegas, last year.
He said starting with 18 Lions Clubs, under the coordination of the Past International Director, Mr H. O. B. Lawal of Nigeria, Ghana Lions held its first District Governor elections in January 2019.
Since then, he said “we have grown to 27 clubs, adding that but for the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant lockdowns, we would have had about 33 clubs now.”
He added that the District had established its own secretariat and had scored many successes in its service delivery.
Dr Mensa-Bonsu installed the incoming Governor, Lion Helen Maku Obeng, and called on all members to give her their unflinching support.
In her acceptance speech, Lion Helen Maku Obeng said her vision would be to build a strong, committed and passionate family of Lions, dedicated to the service of others.
She said during her one year tenure, the district would focus on quality membership, adding, “once this is attained, we will be in a position to serve with joy and be responsible to the needs of our communities.”
Ms Obeng, who becomes the first female governor of Lions District 418, Ghana, noted that the past district governor made significant strides in building the structures of the district, and called on all members to put in their best because there was still more work to be done.
She indicated that training of members would be her priority and added that there would be continuous orientation workshops as well as retention clinics for both old and new Lions, and urged members to take advantage of the programmes.
Nene Nagai Kassa VIII
The special guest of honour and a Lion member, the Chief of Mla-Hiormeh Agomeda Shai Traditional Area, Nene Nagai Kassa VIII, commended the Lions for the efforts they put in towards achieving a District status.
He commended Lion Mensa-Bonsu for his tenure and encouraged all to support the newly installed governor to move Ghana Lions to greater heights.
Source: General News