More Hardships Ahead —Expert Says

Ghanaians have been warned to prepare for more hardships in the coming months of the year.

Head of Research of Gold Coast Fund Management, Mr. Samuel Ampah, who gave this warning on Ghana Great and Strong, on Ghana’s premier internet radio, said certain policies the government per the dictates of the 2013 budget has decided to embark upon would even worsen the situation.

“The government of NDC has no clear-cut economic policy to salvage the woes of suffering Ghanaian masses,” he said.

He added that the removal of subsidies from petroleum products which has culminated in a monthly adjustment of the prices of the commodity on the Ghanaian market has worsened the already difficult situation.

Mr. Ampah however partly blamed the legislature for failing to scrutinise the 2013 budget well during debating time on the floor of Parliament to bring to fore the dire consequences the country was supposed to go through especially, the rural folks when the President alerted of the implementation of the Automatic Adjustment Formula (AAF).

With the implementation of the AAF, Mr. Ampah said what the NDC government has succeeded in doing was to aggravate the already existing hard economic problems confronting the nation.

“Our mothers in the villages are suffering because they can’t pay for the increasing cost of kerosene, transportation fares, and electricity bills among others” he noted.

To this end, he called on the President to remember some of the promises he [president] made to Ghanaians in the NDC 2012 manifesto and ‘do something’ about the high rate of petroleum products and utility tariffs.

National Secretary of Progressive People’s Party (PPP,) Mr. Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, who was also on the programme, expressed surprise about the removal of subsidies on petroleum products and utilities by the NDC government in their 2013 budget.

“In the face of all these economic challenges, what the government should have done was to introduce some interventions to cushion the economy but not to burden us the more” he stated.

He noted that the removal of petroleum and utility subsidies was not the antidote to the economic mess the country found itself adding “it has rather worsened our plight as a country”

He therefore challenged the government to show to Ghanaians what it had achieved from its [government] “unprofitable” decision.

The host of the programme, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, recounted some portions of 2013 budget as well as the NDC 2012 manifesto where the party promised to ensure frequent supply of quality and affordable electricity and water to Ghanaians.

According to him, Ghanaians should not be amazed about the current energy crisis vis-a-vis the general outlook of the economy because President Mahama did not hide his intentions to increase utility tariffs and petroleum products.

He was however, not enthused about the government giving all kinds of state contracts to foreigners ostensibly the Chinese while according to Dr. Nduom, some Ghanaians could do the same work at cheaper cost.

He therefore advised Ghanaians not to lose hope in the country but look beyond what government can do for them and work hard to accelerate economic growth.