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Think progress Ghana is a civil society organization that had its maiden inaugural forum yesterday Thursday, 30th June 2022 to articulate issues of governance and economic impact on the country.
The organizers of the event at GIMPA yesterday outlined the rationale behind the formation of the policy think tank and stated that it has become very imperative for Ghanaians to have alternatives within the governance structure of the country to offer credibility and policy-centered initiative to the government. According to them, think progress Ghana is on the move to bring a divergent policy roadmap that in the long term will support the government in its quest to rebuild the economy which is ridden with debts and unsustainable financial gaps.
The Guest speaker for the event H.E John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana touched on the true state of Ghana’s economy and provided solutions to address the current situation we find ourselves.
The former President commended Hon. Seth Terkper (former minister of finance) for his incisive delivery and highlighting of key issues at stake which sets the tone for some topical issues facing our country Ghana. The former President drew attention to serious mismanagement that has plunged our country into the most debilitating economic crisis.
He highlighted some “unsustainable public debt, spiraling cost of doing business, large fiscal deficit, rising inflation, rapidly depreciating currency, the ever-rising cost of living, high level of corruption and general loss of investor confidence as the pressing issues affecting the economy which required immediate actions and resolution.”
According to him, available data from the first quarter economic outturns indicates that the fiscal deficit target for the first quarter of 2022 has been missed with a deficit of 2.6% recorded instead of the programmed 2.2%. However, the trend shows that a similar number is expected in the next quarter which will in his estimation lead to an end-of-year fiscal deficit of over 10%.
He stated that the exchange rate has seen further depreciation with the dollar now exchanging at over Gh8 cedis on the forex market which can be attributed to capital flight associated with the withdrawal of non-resident investors from the economy. He cited that inflation has accelerated to 27.6% and is expected to inch up in the coming months.
The former President mocks the government for struggling to meet its financial commitment in all sectors of the economy. Instead of taking the bull by the horn and addressing the root causes of the economic hardship the Akufo Addo-led government opted to place their hopes on misguided revenue projections and regressive tax measures such as the E-levy. The entire month of May has rammed down the throats of Ghanaians, the much-vaunted E-levy yielded a paltry Gh¢54 million against a Target of Gh¢475 million for that month representing only 11.3%, meanwhile, there is no sign of improvement for June as only about Gh¢7.1 million had been collected by the first week.
According to the former presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, the figures demonstrate that the so-called E-levy has been a spectacular failure and has become the mother of all nuisance taxes.
Even though Prez Akufo Addo and Dr. Bawumia have failed to demonstrate that it has a plan – B to resolve the economic Hardship and has refused to heed any suggestions made in that regard. He still called on the President of the republic Akufo Addo and his head of the economic management team to end the nonchalance and indecision and take urgent steps to address the self-inflicted economic mess that has brought unbearable economic hardship, pain, and great suffering to the people of Ghana. He made it clear that the economic problem we are facing stems from imprudent Election-related expenditure and reckless decision-making in the management of the economy.
He used the platform to urge president Nana Addo to as a matter of urgency fire his finance minister Ken Ofori Atta, and conduct a major shake-up of his government to wipe out the many dead woods that have turned ministries into their fiefdoms, and finally huddle with the best brains this country has to formulate an extensive rescue plan for the economy.