On Monday, the 14th of July 2014, the faltering Ghanaian economy was hit with another body blow in the form of yet one more hike in fuel prices, with the price of petrol going up by 23%. Concerned Ghanaians For Responsible Governance (CGRG) raised the issue of petroleum prices in our 1st July, 2014 petition presented to His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama.
Ostensibly a technical decision made by the independent regulator, the National Petroleum Authority, it is clear that this damaging price hike has been occasioned by the mismanagement of both the monetary and fiscal environments, principally by the Mahama Administration. Ghana’s deteriorating fiscal situation has had a direct impact on the cedi, now considered one of the worst performing currencies in the world. By failing to practice sound fiscal policy, the government has given us a cedi exchange rate now considered among the worst in the world.
CGRG has concluded that the government’s current approach to dealing with this crisis, an unprecedented levying of taxes, raising of fees, and other forms of revenue increases will only worsen the economic outlook in the short and medium term for the Ghanaian economy, meaning that the Ghana Cedi will continue on its downward slide, perhaps declining to four Ghana Cedis to the US dollar before the end of this year. For an economy that will be import dependent for the foreseeable future, the government’s lack of prudence will spell for the average Ghanaian (Daavi Ghana and Idrissu Ghana) increases in food and transportation prices, all part of the lessening of our purchasing power. For transparency, Government should publish a breakdown of all levies paid per litre of fuel.
CGRG believes that it is time for President Mahama to face the reality that his government’s actions have dramatically worsened the outlook for Ghana and all Ghanaians, and to quickly come up with a plan that assures Ghanaians that he understands the gravity of the situation. A presidential address, not pronouncements by a staffer, is what Ghana needs to start repairing this damage. Not another Senchi, nor a cosmetic reshuffle. CGRG is patiently counting down the days when the President shall officially respond to the Petition and the issues we raised therein.
This Friday, July 18th 2014, we will be clad in red, preferably in made in Ghana (Friday wear), but it is important to signal your commitment to change by wearing whatever item of red you have. We particularly encourage the wearing of visible red accessories – scarf, shoes, bags, wristbands, and the like. Our hardworking traders could consider hanging a red item in a prominent place in their shops. All commercial vehicle operators are encouraged to hang an item in red visibly on their vehicles.
The protest theme for this Friday is the Increased Cost of Living (specifically the increase in the prices of fuel, transportation, food, water, electricity). Let us make our voices heard loudly and peacefully this #RedFriday. All Ghanaians are encouraged to take photographs of themselves in their red attire or accessory and post them on social media (Facebook and Twitter etc), especially on the CONCERNED GHANAIANS FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE or OCCUPYGHANA Facebook pages along with their concerns and what you want government to do.
The #RedFriday events are non-partisan and are meant to involve Ghanaian citizens everywhere. All posts/reposts and/or tweets/retweets should bear the following: #RedFriday, #OccupyGhana, #OccupyFlagstaffHouse, Our Ghana must work and we must all make sure we play a role to make it work!
George Kojo Anti