An economist and businessman, Dr. Kofi Amoah, has expressed doubts that President John Mahama can turn around the ailing economy within just 19 months to the general elections.
The President has the difficult task of salvaging an economy some international rating agencies have downgraded. Some economists have described the economy as being in a state of crisis.
The country’s debt stock has risen to about GHC76.1 billion and the Finance Minister Seth Terkper recently told Parliament that the budget deficit will be wider than previously expected, moving from 6.5% of GDP to 7.5%.
The current energy crisis is taking a huge toll on businesses and productivity in the country.
The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union has said that about 500 of their members have lost their jobs between January and March and estimated that about 5,000 jobs will be lost by the end of 2015.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show Dr Kofi Amoah was doubtful, that President Mahama can turn things around within this short period. ‘… For the short term, I think we are going to have difficulties.
You see the Cedi has started devaluing since the beginning of the year,’ he noted. ‘One of the solutions may have to be contain some hardships, reduce items that are imported, save some foreign exchange to support more credible activities,’ he suggested. According to Dr Amoah Ghanaians would have to sacrifice for a while for the situation to get better.
‘Maybe we need to deny ourselves from certain things for a while to balance our budget but as it its now the President himself has said that we import 17 billion worth of goods and we export 13 billion, that means every year we are 4 billion short.’
Dr. Amoah believes another major solution to the challenge is for government to reduce some items that are imported and save some foreign exchange to use that to support other more credible activities.
IMF deal was a mistake The Economist has also described government decision to resort to the International Monetary Fund(IMF) for a bailout as a mistake. Ghana is expecting about $940 million from the IMF over a three-year period to rescue Ghana’s ailing economy.
Dr. Amoah believes the programme may not be beneficial to Ghanaians. His comments were made a day after the 2016 vice presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dr Mahamudu Bawumia criticised the Mahama-led administration on Tuesday for seeking refuge in the Bretton Wood institution when it could have avoided it.
He reiterated concerns raised by Bawumia , saying ‘the fact of the matter is that we[Ghana] are overly indebted.’
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