Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei and Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey
A planned forum by the Institute of Economic Affair (IEA) to discuss the rapidly depreciating Cedi was virtually turned into political fisticuffs between Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Minority Spokesman on Finance and Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, Special Aide at the presidency, who were invited as the key speakers.
Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, who was the former Deputy Finance Minister under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Dr. Akoto Osei, New Patriotic Party (NPP), blamed each other for being responsible for the predicament of the local currency, which keeps losing its value against the major foreign currencies.
At the forum held on Wednesday under the theme, ‘The Cedi Crisis, Implication and Way Forward’, the debate degenerated into political equalization, with each speaker telling the other that the depreciation of the cedi, as against other foreign currencies such as the US Dollar, the British Pound and the European Euro, was caused by the opponent’s government.
While Dr. Akoto Osei blamed the situation on what he described as ‘mismanagement of the economy and unbridled government expenditure,’ Mr. Fiifi Kwetey traced historical trends of past depreciation of the cedi and concluded that there was no cause for alarm.
The back and forth banter went on without a concrete headway in solutions to curb the free-falling cedi, forcing Eva Lokko, the 2012 vice presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan and several other politicians at the forum, to protest and called for more independent-minded people to discuss solutions to the cedi’s problem.
‘…They can argue either way, and that is not helping us. This is a national issue; it is not a party issue, but we’ve been hearing two parties’ names being bandied around and I am very sad about it,’ Ms Eva Lokko protested.
‘The argument has been on who said what and who did what and we have not gathered enough information as to the way forward,’ she bemoaned.
‘Next time around, when we have a topic like this, let’s have some independent minds,’ Alhaji Ramadan proposed. ‘…In an attempt to get a second term [in power],’ apparently referring to President Mahama and his NDC government, ‘we would continue to destroy the structure that we have all laboured to build and we would continue to stagnate, we would never grow,’ he observed.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran
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