Finance Minister Seth Terkper has indicated that the expansion of the petroleum industry will not hamper the contribution of agriculture to the Ghanaian economy.
He was of the view that the petrochemical sector would rather spur development and increased growth of agriculture.
Mr Terkper, who was a guest on Class FM’s ‘Inside Politics’ programme on Tuesday November 22, explained that the boost in petroleum and gas have a direct linkage to the agricultural sector.
Citing some examples of the positive effect on agriculture, he told host Moro Awudu: “Ghana has salt and the mix of salt with petroleum by-products results in petrochemicals. We are looking at industries like fertiliser, bitumen, etc. The agric sector will not be abandoned.”
He was positive that the TEN and Sankofa oil fields will produce significant quantities of gas that will help produce more power for the industrial sector from 2017.
He said government had plans to make Accra a hub for petroleum services and the fact that “they are growing should not be translated as a neglect of agriculture”.
Mr Terkper also revealed that government would launch the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank on 30 November this year.
The EXIM Bank replaces the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) and is expected to enable the country take advantage of international trade initiatives such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The aim of establishing the EXIM Bank is to create an institution that consolidates past efforts and becomes the key engine for developing Ghana’s export activities, Mr Terkper said.
President John Dramani Mahama has already inaugurated a nine-member Board of Directors for the newly established Ghana EXIM Bank.
The board is chaired by Professor Richard Bani of the University of Ghana and includes Mrs Pearl Esua-Mensah, formerly of UT Bank, Joseph Enimil-Armah of Enimil Group of Companies, and Nana Dr Apiagyei Dankawaso of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Other members of the board are Dr Johnson P. Asiama, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana; James Tiigah of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority; Emmanuel Mammara of the Ministry of Trade; and Samuel Arkhurst of the Ministry of Finance.
The acting Chief Executive of the bank is Dr Barfour Osei.