Ghanaians Are Suffering; Address The Economic Hardships – Government Told

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Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia

Professor John Kwaku Mensah Mawutor, Dean, School of Graduate Studies, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), has asked the Government of Ghana to focus on addressing the country’s economic challenges.

This would help alleviate the sufferings of Ghanaians, which had been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Prof. Mawutor said this during a media engagement on the aftermath of the lecture on the state of the economy by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President.

He said: “We have a country to protect so we should address the perennial problems affecting our economy to the benefit of the Ghanaian.”

He noted that though the COVID-19 pandemic had made many nations including Ghana, suffer some drawbacks, the Government could not continue to use that as an excuse, and not find solutions to the economic challenges.

The Professor of Management explained that the argument that pandemic did not affect the economy was not true, adding that: “But can we continue to use that argument as the problem forever? No!”

He also bemoaned the comparison of governance by the two main political parties in Ghana; New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), using data to their interest.

Such comparison, he said. was not of importance to Ghanaians but leveraging on data to resolve challenges to improve the living conditions of the people.

He said: “The average Ghanaian is concerned about the Cedi depreciation and how to come out of the hardship. Comparing the previous government to what is happening now is not of any use to the Ghanaian.”

He added that: “Ghanaians are looking at alternatives and if you don’t address the problems of this country we may lose our jobs.”

He, therefore, encouraged, particularly, the NPP and NDC to focus on issues that would inure to the benefit of all Ghanaians, rather than their political interest.

Recognising the role of state-owned enterprises in contributing to economic development, Prof Mawutor, asked the parties to have the political will to ensure that state-owned enterprises thrived.

In addition to this was consistent macroeconomic stability and sustained economic growth, as he noted that: “Fiscal discipline is very important if we want to develop this country.”

Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, former Deputy Minister of Health, said that any politician that would “create the impression that COVID-19 has not done anything to the economy and that only means he just wants power.”

He added that: “When COVID struck for the first time in many decades Ghana Airport was closed. The world was in crisis, it was not the making of the government.”

He said that despite the impact of the pandemic, the country was recovering through the measures instituted by the Government.

Mr Sammy Gyamfi, NDC National Communications Officer, said the COVID-19 helped the Government to rather stabilise the Cedi: “Because nobody was importing here in Ghana.”

Commenting on the state of the economy, he said: “If you have an economy with three oil fields, you cannot be comparing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of such an economy to an economy that had only one oil field.

Mr Gyamfi added that: “President Kufuor had one oil filed, Jubilee, which he bequeathed to the Mills/Mahama administration, and that oil filed was giving this country averagely 70,000 barrels of oil per day.”

“Whereas we had about 70,000 barrels of oil a day, they are now having over 200,000 barrels of oil per day. In terms of oil revenue, we had just about 6billion cedis in four years, in four years they have had over 20billion.”

During his lecture on the state of the economy, Dr Bawumia said the implementation of government’s flagship programmes, together with the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions and the opening of the land borders, would result in increased economic activity and economic growth.

This, he was hopeful, would turn around the fortunes of the economy and ease the sufferings of Ghanaians.

 

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