The weak and failed state of Ghana as described by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is the creation of its incessant demands on government to cushion Ghanaians through subsidies and salary increments, Fifi Kwetey, Minister of State in Charge of Allied and Financial Institutions has said.
He said the major problem facing Ghana is that the nation consumes far more than it invests, adding that there is therefore no money for the kind of investment that would transform the economy the way the TUC had wished for.
Secretary General of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah, addressing a pre-May Day forum in Tema remarked: “Our state has become deformed, and unable to undertake the simple task of governing. All the high and low profile corruption that have become all too pervasive are symptoms of a weak and failing state. We need to rescue, and rehabilitate the state, and place at the front and centre of national development.”
But Fifi Kwetey told Joy FM on Friday: “When you have a situation, where you take the non earmarked revenue available to Ghana – after you have removed all the earmarked funds, all the exemptions … – 94.1% of it is being used purely to pay compensations package and arrears, what money is available to be able to do the investment that will bring about of structural transformation of the economy?
“So the TUC must appreciate that part of the reasons why we are holding back the very transformation of the structure of the economy, is their incessant demand for more consumption on the back that things are difficult.”
He therefore advised, “If you are asking for structural transformation, it means that the country must understand that there is the need for making a sacrifice on consumption so that money can be available for investment.”
Nonetheless, the Minister also challenged the TUC to cite any country in the sub-region that has achieved the kind of structural transformation it is describing, which suggest that Ghana is a failed state.
In his opinion, TUC’s assessment of the economy over the 30-year period is “extremely simplistic and questionable” and advised it to be restrained and thorough in its analyses of this nature.
Though he admitted the country has some challenges, he said, that does not mean the country is a failed state.
He therefore remarked that a failed state would not be able to attract the kind of investors Ghana has.
“How do you describe as a failed state that a country, in spite of its difficulty, year-in-year-out continues to grow? How do you describe as a failed state? How do you describe as a failed state a country that continues to see investment in infrastructure in spite of the difficulties that you are having?”, he asked.