Classfmonline.com has quoted the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, as saying, “We have seen improvements in the economic indicators, as I made clear in the mid-year budget statement.”
According to the news outlet, Minister Ofori-Atta, who was speaking at the Ghana Mutual Prosperity Dialogue, held in Accra last week Thursday, contended: “Our economy is expected to continue growing now and over the medium term.
“Economic growth has been resilient this year, averaging 3.2 per cent in the first two quarters, compared to 3 per cent in the same period in 2022,” Mr. Ofori-Atta was quoted as saying.
He revealed that the government intends introducing some strategies in the 2024 budget, which would be read on November15, 2023 to propel job creation.
“As part of the 2024 budget, the government will also roll out a strategy to complement the micro-fiscal reforms we are implementing under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. This is to ensure the growth of jobs and critical components of the economy,” he reportedly said.
Since the Finance Minister is quoting economic figures to back his claim that the economy is recovering, we cannot challenge him, especially when these figures have also been accepted by the IMF. The truth, however, is that the Ghanaian’s economic situation, as we put this piece together, is not in the best of shape. For some, it is not easy to afford three square meals a day as designed by nature.
The unemployment situation, especially among the youth, who are the future leaders of our dear nation, is also getting out of hand. Though a business guru in this country is quoted as saying that those who are singing poverty songs are simply lazy, there are thousands of youth who are willing to work, but the jobs are simply not available.
To those who are struggling to eke out a living, any economic indicators that point to the recovery of the economy will sound like music in their ears. What they want to see is the practical manifestation in their standard of living. The Chronicle is, therefore, appealing to the Finance Minister to come out with a budget that would lead to the creation of jobs to cushion the suffering of the masses.
Already, there are reports that the chunk of our domestic revenues is being consumed by over 688,000 employees on the government payroll, and this leaves little room to manoeuvre. The government cannot, therefore, continue to employ more people with the aim of solving the unemployment problem.
The only avenue available now is the private sector thought to be the engine of growth of every economy. Now, since the minister himself has hinted of coming out with a strategy that would lead to the creation of jobs, we presume that the private sector is going to be supported to lead in the execution of the agenda.
Yes, the ‘one district, one factory’ policy has created jobs for a number of Ghanaians, but as we earlier indicated, there are still thousands of people out there who are looking for jobs. We must, therefore, squeeze water out of stone to ensure that these categories of people also get jobs to do, so they can earn something at the end of the month to feed their families.
The Russia-Ukraine war has seriously affected the economies of developing countries, which Ghana is part. The Israeli-Hamas conflict is even going to exacerbate the situation. This means there are tougher times ahead of us as a country, but we must still manoeuvre out of the situation to ensure that the average Ghanaian is not adversely affected.
Mr. Minister, the ball is in your court; do something before you leave office.