The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has announced that, as from January this year, non-residential users of electricity in the country would enjoy an average of 14% reduction in electricity tariffs.
According to President Akufo-Addo, not only has Government succeeded in normalising the power situation in the country, "we now want to boost private business in our country."
Thus, the President indicated that "from January this year, the non-residential tariff rate, which is the rate which includes all of you here, is being reduced by an average of 14%. For barbers, it is being reduced by 18%; for hairdressers and beauticians, 15.7%, and for tailors, 9.8%."
President Akufo-Addo continued, "An average bill last year was GH¢562 a month. With this reduction from January, it is coming down to GH¢473 a month, which means GH¢88 has been taken from the electricity tariff that you pay. We want to encourage private business, and make business stand on its feet."
The President made this known on Monday, 15th January, 2017, at the opening of the 8th Salon Academy of the National Association of Beauticians and Hairdressers, held at the Mensah Sarbah Hall, University of Ghana, Legon.
Expressing his appreciation to the Association for their support of his candidature in the run-up to the 2016 elections, President Akufo-Addo noted that one of the pledges he made to them, the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, is now a reality.
"By the grace of God, Free SHS, which some said was not possible or would be possible only after 20 years, is now a reality in our country. Free SHS has come to stay. It is going to be a central feature of the education architecture of our country. We are not going to go back on it. By 2020, all students in form 1, form 2 and form 3, would enjoy the free SHS policy," he said.
This statement was met with a rapturous round of approval from the hundreds and hundreds of beauticians and hair dressers at the packed Mensah Sarbah Hall.
In response to the request by the President of the Association, Mrs Joyce Lamptey, for tax exemptions for start-up businesses, the President stated that in the 2018 budget, there is a provision which ensures that young entrepreneurs, up to the age of 35, will enjoy a tax holiday for the first five years of operation, before being taxed in the subsequent years.
Touching on the provision of skills training, he revealed that, up until now, all the institutions responsible for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country, were under so many organisations.
"My government has made the decision to centralise all of them (TVET) under the Ministry of Education, so we can scale up TVET training, and make it better and more robust for you. The demand for an industrial park in every region is part of the NPP manifesto, and you know that all the pledges I have made to the Ghanaian people, I am going to fulfil each and every one of them," he said.
In conclusion, President Akufo-Addo appealed for the continued support of the Association, stressing that "this government is your government; it is the government of the private sector. Whatever we can do to strengthen the private sector, we will do it. We have come to do a job to raise Ghana up, and, with your support, we will raise Ghana up. The Black Star is going to shine and shine and shine again."