Government has demonstrated sensitivity to challenges – Economist

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Mr Habibu Adam, a Senior Economist, Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor, has said government has demonstrated enough sensitivity to the challenges facing the country and must be acknowledged for facing issues head-on.

“Government has already committed to strictness through the reduction of the number of ministers from 126 to 86; in addition, all Article 71 officers are not to benefit any salary increment for 2021.

“Foreign travels by government officials have also been reduced significantly, all these measures contributed to making resources available for spending in critical areas of the economy,” Mr Adam told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tema.

He noted that before the coming into power of the current administration, Ghana was under an IMF programme, which dictated that employment in the public sector be frozen for four years.

“We were in Dumsor for four years and youth unemployment according to the Bretton Woods institutions was about 48 per cent (it is said to be around 12 per cent now).

“Teachers and nurses who had completed schools since 2012 were not posted and those who were posted were not paid for more than 12 months; while teachers and nurses’ trainees as well as Arabic instructors had their allowances cancelled.

“Average school fees, which were about ¢3,600.00 per child per annum had to be paid by parents and guardians,” he recounted.

The Senior Economist said school feeding only covered a limited number of pupils, LEAP and the many other interventions implemented by the previous administration were in limited scope and funds were not even released to take care of them.

Mr Adam noted that even though government may not have increased salaries of workers directly, the implementation of certain key policies had indirectly reduced the burden on workers.

He said the economic model being pursued by the Akufo-Addo government was to ensure that everyone got a small fraction of benefit from the state.

In addition, it was meant to solve the national security threats posed by youth unemployment and psychological or mental trauma the young people went through when they stayed at home after national service for a long time, he said.

Mr Adam explained that the economic model being pursued by the government was purely meant to engender consumption through domestic spending.

No wonder, Ghana had been among the fastest growing economies in the world since 2017 even under COVID-19 Pandemic.

He said government continues to do more to relieve the burden on Ghanaians citing an instance, in July this year, saying Government granted financial clearance to three ministries and their agencies for the recruitment of 11,840 personnel.

Mr Adam said “more financial clearance for many more ministries and agencies are also pending to be granted,” and called on labour to support government’s efforts towards nation building.

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