NDC HAS FAILED GHANAIANS …Says Ambassador Designate
The Loquacious member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Ambassador-designate for the Netherlands, Dr. Tony Aidoo has blamed the worsening economic conditions in the country on the failure of the government to pursue prudent economic policies.
According to the tough talking former Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Office of the President, the government has failed in its responsibility towards improving the socio-economic conditions of the people.
The NDC won political power in 2008 on a pro-poor campaign, promising Ghanaians a better Ghana. Five years into an NDC administration, the whole economy is tumbling down, with the national currency in a free fall against the major trading currencies, especially the United States Dollar.
According to Dr. Tony Aidoo, the Government has no excuse for its failure in living up to its promise to better the lives of the citizenry.
“Don’t tell me that you came to power without realizing the huge responsibilities that you are going to incur when you are voted into power.
However onerous the responsibility of governance, it must be done and you have to do it in a way and manner that balances resources and your outgoings,” he noted on Joy FM, an Accra based radio station yesterday.
He blamed the current economic situation partly on the inability of the revenue collecting agencies to find new ways of widening the tax net, which would allow each Ghanaian to contribute their social responsibility towards the state.
He also mentioned the ‘conspiracy” among personnel of the various revenue collecting agencies which perpetrate leakages in the system and which is robbing the state of huge recourses.
“There is strong material evidence that a great deal of leakages go on in there [Ghana Revenue Authority]; an official from the VAT [Value Added Tax] will go and connive with a ‘VATED entity’ most of the time to reduce the liability…There is a conspiracy that has been going on for a very long time,” he alleged
To him, those who have the responsibility to block these leakages have ironically allowed the leakages to go on, for which he said the ‘government has failed Ghanaians’.
A tumbling cedi
The national currency, the Cedi, has been on a free fall against major trading foreign currencies, including the US dollar. The year 2014 opened with the US dollar going for GH¢ 2.20.
In less than two months the Dollar is now selling between GH¢ 2.43 and GH¢ 2.87, depending on where it is available for purchase.
To help stabiles the cedi, the Central Bank initiated a number of measures, including a ban on commercial banks and other financial houses, from issuing cheques and cheque books on Foreign Exchange Accounts (FEA) and foreign currency accounts (FCA).
The Central Bank also directed that no bank should grant a foreign currency-denominated loan or foreign currency-linked facility to a customer who is not a foreign exchange earner.
It has also banned over-the-counter cash withdrawals from foreign exchange and foreign currency accounts not exceeding US$10,000 shall only be permitted for travel purposes outside Ghana or its equivalent in convertible currency per person per travel among other measures.
These measures have, however, been criticized by many traders and foreign account holders in the country, who say the directive is inimical to their line of business, while others hold the opinion that it infringes on their rights.
The Centre for Freedom and Accuracy had also come hard at the government, for failing its policies to save the National currency from falling to such lows.
The Executive Director for the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy, Mr. Andrew Awuni, could not phantom the basis for the current economic situation at the time the country’s major exports have enjoyed some of the highest international market prices in more than three decades, until recently.
“Is it not an irony that our cedi should be on a free fall in spite of all these inflows of foreign capital into the economy?” he queried.
The Ghanaian’s psychic overload
The average Ghanaian wakes up each morning anticipating what more he would have to budget for in a continuous worsening economic condition of life- from increasing transport fares, utility tariffs, bi-weekly review of prices of petroleum products, among others.
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