Government’s payroll is full – Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has urged fresh graduates from the various tertiary institutions to find innovative ways of becoming entrepreneurs.

According to him, that is the only way the rising unemployment rate in the country can be reduced.

He said it will help reduce the over-reliance on the government for jobs, and also reduce the burden on the government’s payroll.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Mr. Ofori-Atta explained that 60% of Ghana’s revenue is spent every month on the payment of salaries of public Sector workers

“That payroll is full because we are spending some 60% of our revenue on remunerating some 650,000 people. That is not sustainable.”

He told the graduating students that: “…You have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do. Our responsibility as a government is to create the environment and the macro stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing.”

He also said government is structuring its budget to focus on how to support the youth to create their own jobs.

According to him, this is being done by the government through initiatives such as the Ghana CARES programme.

“This budget that we are going to be doing is going to really focus on the youth. We will have a programme in it looking at the youth and [their] demands and how we can structure… the Ghana Obaatanpa Programme  [for the next two or three years] to ensure that the youth become their own bosses, and how to become entrepreneurs.”