Economist Rubbishes Afro barometer report

Dr John Gatsi
Dr John Gatsi

An Economist at the University of Cape Coast School of Business, Dr John Gatsi has rubbished the latest Afrobarometer report which states that 76 percent of Ghanaians blame the NDC government for failing to improve their living standards.

 Dr John Gatsi
Dr John Gatsi

The report, which sampled the views of 2,400 citizens about their economic and living conditions, stated that a large majority of Ghanaians believe the country is heading in the wrong direction and further states that one in 10 Ghanaians are pessimistic about the country?s economic prospects for 2015.

But Dr Gatsi believes this report is not a true representation of Ghana?s economic situation as it was conducted from May to June this year in the heat of the country?s downturn and at a time when there was a general consensus that the economy was challenged.

?The period within which the survey was conducted nobody would expect a different thing from what has being reported……It would be strange for someone to say that we were not facing economic hardship or even now it would be very strange for someone to say that there is no economic hardship in the country, it would be strange for somebody to say that we have no problem with electricity, water, etc.?
Speaking to Live FM?s Ekow Annan, the Economist punched holes in the report and identified some inaccuracies in the answers provided by the respondents, which the researchers used to conclude that the country is going in the wrong direction.

?I think there?s some kind of disconnect with some of the questions that were asked if you look at the verdict. About 72% of respondent claim the economy was poorly managed, the living standard was very bad but when the same people were asked what their very important issues that should be dealt with only 18% claim the economy and only 12% talked about electricity. So one is at a lost as to whether it is the same people who answered the two questions,? he lashed out.

He also analysed that ?It is very important to have a research of this kind at least for people to express how they feel about the economy, but there are some few issues that I think need more clarifications? if you conduct this kind of research, during the time that everybody including the president has agreed that there is serious economy difficulty then one would wonder whether it is a true reflection of what people really want to say.?
Dr Gatsi however urged government to attach an utmost level of seriousness to the report.

?I would be surprised if government is not already aware that people are suffering in the country, I would be surprised if this would be the first time they are hearing that so this is just to strengthen the already known view that the people are having difficulties in terms of electricity, water and all the social amenities in the country. Government should take it very seriously and continue to improve,? he added.

He further went on to say ?on the other hand since the research hasn?t clearly captured the quality measures put in place to address some of the issues. It is also in the place of government to try to portray the areas that they have rolled out specific programs to avert or to mitigate the problems people are going through for all of us to assess. That is the greatest problem of the government and they need to work on that.?

The report was released at a time the country?s economy appears to be showing signs of recovery after it struggled for most of the year prompting demonstrations and industrial actions from various organisations and groups.
The cedi is also beginning to stabilise after depreciating by as much as 40 percent during the year and is appreciating against the major international currencies.

By: Ekow Annan/Live FM ekowskare

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