Nation building calls for consensus building – Nyaaba Aweebo Azongo

Nyaaba Aweebo Azongo
Nyaaba Aweebo Azongo

A Development Planner has asked the government to take immediate steps to build a national consensus towards building a robust economy.

Mr Nyaaba Aweebo Azongo said this was important for developing a homegrown solution to the socio-economic challenges.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in reaction to the President’s address on the current state of the Ghanaian economy, he said the measures announced would not fully address the critical situation.

He said without a broader stakeholder consensus, the government’s interventions would only be as “little drops of water in a mighty ocean of development crisis”.

Mr Azongo said the address should have also included massive expenditure cuts in the short term.

“His two years left could have been devoted to the building of a common development consensus as a path for Ghana, after a massive cut in waste: size of government, ban foreign travels and only for extreme circumstances, realigning ministries,” he told the Ghana News Agency.

Mr Azongo said government policies should drive citizens’ participation in the development process and expressed the hope that this would be given urgent attention.

The government has announced sweeping measures to curb the rising cost of living, especially fuel and food, to boost the country’s faltering economic growth.

In a televised address to bring the country up to speed on the economy, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo outlined with optimism a raft of new measures, which he said would break the pace of the current economic downturn.
The actions include improvement in revenue collection from the current tax-revenue to GDP ratio of 13 percent to between 18 to 20 percent, review of the reforms in the energy sector, capping of statutory funds, implementation of the exemptions Act and a new property rate regime

He said the Government would also continue with the policy of 30 percent cut in the salaries of political office holders, including the President, Vice President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, and State-owned Enterprises appointees in 2023, as well 30 percent cut in discretionary expenditures of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The plan also targets a reduction of total public debt to GDP ratio to some 55 percent by 2028, with the servicing of external debt pegged at not more than 18 per cent of the country’s annual revenue also by 2028.

It would also prioritise imports,and review the management of foreign exchange reserves in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles, and others.

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