The Daily Guide newspaper reports that it has “credible” information that the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is not likely to attend the ‘National Economic Forum’ being put together by the government.
The four-day Forum, starting tomorrow, Tuesday, May 13, according to a statement issued by government, is aimed at “achieving consensus on policies, strategies and measures that are, required to accelerate Ghana’s transition from a lower middle income nation to an upper middle income economy with sustainable path of development that guarantees improvements in the quality of life for all Ghanaians.”
The statement, which was issued and signed by Deputy Information and Media Relations Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu, said the four-day event, which is scheduled to take place at Akosombo, would be under the theme, “Changing the narrative: Building a National Consensus for Economic and Social transformation.”
But according Daily Guide a source close to the NPP has disclosed to the newspaper that party would not send a representation to the forum.
A decision is therefore expected to be announced to that effect at a press conference today at the NPP’s Asylum Down head office, the paper reported Monday.
Stakeholders at the forum are expected to include former finance ministers, former Governors of the Bank of Ghana, eminent economists, key figures of political parties, parliamentarians, business people, economic policy makers, as well as representatives of traders’ associations, development and social partners, civil society organizations, members of academia and senior citizens.
The NPP’s purported stand, this paper learned, was based on the realisation that the said forum would be used to push through a proposal submitted by the government to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighting mass retrenchment of public sector workers – beginning next year.
Sources have hinted to the Daily Guide that the proposed gathering would ostensibly be used to rubber- stamp the deal with the IMF for a bailout and present it as a consensus document.
As at now the document government claimed to contain its economic blueprint, has not been given to the expected participants of the forum, confirming sceptics’ fear that the forum is going to be just a window-dressing exercise.
According to the Daily Guide, the NPP believes the current economic crisis was self-inflicted — occasioned by reckless overspending during the 2012 elections, leading to huge budget deficit.
“And until the government accepts that it has poorly managed the economy, we won’t have anything to do with the forum,” the newspaper quoted a “party guru”.
The NPP believed that the government was obstinate and not ready to accept any ideas offered outside the National Democratic Congress (NDC), considering last week’s ‘Yen tie obiaa’ (we won’t listen to anyone) brouhaha.
The forum, the NPP suspected, was only going to be used as a platform for the NDC’s own propaganda in order to seek legitimacy for the ‘killer programmes’ as contained in the document submitted to the IMF.
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