The Founder and Leader of the All People’s Congress (APC), Dr. Hassan Ayariga, has urged government to embrace all inclusive governance model practices to bring about diversity to grow the country’s economy. Additionally, he insisted that government could revive the fortunes of the economy through the adaptation of best economic models that drive value for money outcomes and avoid investments with negative returns.
Speaking at a press conference dubbed “The Way Forward for Our Nation,” Dr. Ayariga charged President Akufo-Addo to be bold to sack non-performing ministers from his government and hold others accountable for their stewardships.
Touching on the economy, he explained that the future of the country looked bleak, because the economy had taken a nose dive, with high cost of living, massive hardship, and unsustainable levels of inflation. He said: “Fuel prices and other utilities tariffs are on the rise almost every day; transport fares are increasing every day and thereby worsening the plight of the citizens.”
“The future of our country is that if we don’t take care, we will destroy our nation from within, and the future generation will have nothing to build on when they take over… Ghanaians are suffering; many cannot even afford three square meals a day. The hardship is killing people slowly,” he charged.
The economy, he said, looked terrible, alleging that the government owed every sector, while the citizenry faced tougher financial conditions, with many in deplorable situations. “Salaries are still the same; foodstuffs and groceries are increasing every hour and every day. A ball of kenkey is now sold for three Cedis, which cannot even feed an eleven-year old child,” he alleged.
He explained that Ghana’s public debt stock was at the highest peak with a staggering 81% to GDP while inflation stood at 27.6% making Ghana the sixth worse economy in the world.“Ghana’s fiscal deficit in 2018 and 2019 were the highest in the entire West African sub-region…2020’s fiscal deficit of 15.7%, again was the highest in the West African sub-region and the second highest in the entire Sub-Sahara African region behind Seychelles,” He stated
Following government’s decision to seek a bailout from the IMF, which has added up to 17 the number of times the country has visited the Bretton Woods Institution, Dr. Ayariga indicated that both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were the same.
“Ghana’s swift journey to the IMF collaborates the fact that both the NPP and NDC have nothing to offer our beloved Country Ghana.”
Responding to government’s position that the economy was performing terribly because of COVID-19 and the Russia’s evasion of Ukraine, he stated that the two external factors could not be solely blamed for the poor state of the economy. He said, “Ghana’s Economic downturn started even before the arrival of Covid-19 and both the IMF and the World Bank have echoed it in their reports”.
“I, however, wish to ask: is the impact of COVID-19 and the Russian war against Ukraine exclusively a situation against Ghana? How can a global phenomenon skip Côte d’Ivoire and all the surrounding countries and only attack Ghana, how, how does it happen?”
To overcome the socio-economic challenges that have bedeviled the country, which has necessitated government’s call on the IMF for support, he indicated that government must concentrate on price control systems among other factors.
He charged on Members of Parliament to put aside their partisan and “selfish interests” and rather put the national interest first in the discharge of their duties in Parliament.“The current hung Parliament provided a good opportunity for Parliament to showcase its strength in seeking the interest of the people,” he said.
He advised President Akufo-Addo to setup a second Economic Management Team comprising key stakeholders, including captains of industry, labour and political parties.
The team, he said, would “provide a second view to the government’s own Economic Management Team. That way, the country would be gaining more knowledge and expertise from a non-partisan body to guide it in its policies and programs”.
As a country, he said, “we must shift from importation to production and manufacturing to salvage the Cedi. We cannot continue to be importing everything at the cost of local production and expect that life would be easier for Ghanaians.”
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