General News of Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Banda MP Ahmed Ibrahim has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s admission that Ghana is going through rough times is a vindication of claims by his critics that the economy is in a bad state.
The Deputy Minority Whip told Katakyie Obeng Mensah on Accra100.5FM’s Ghana Yensom on Tuesday, 25 September that all aspects of the Ghanaian economy under the Akufo-Addo administration are struggling, hence the hardship.
His comments follow an admission by the president that the depreciation of the cedi against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies, as well as the prevailing harsh economic environment, is a difficult situation requiring some degree of fortitude and firm action to deal with.
The local currency has neared the GHS5: US$1 mark.
The frequent increase in the price of fuel has also worsened the situation.
Speaking at a reception at the residence of Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S.A. on Sunday, 23 September 2018, Nana Akufo-Addo said: “Two totally unexpected events that have occurred that have also put a lot of pressure on the people at home is the dramatic increase in crude oil prices.
“Last November’s budget budgeted for $57 per barrel of crude but today it’s at $78, so, you can imagine what that, in itself, has brought on the budget and it is taking place also at the time when United States dollar has also strengthened considerably in the foreign exchange market of the world.
“It has led to a rapid depreciation of our cedi, which the Bank of Ghana is now having to fight, but ultimately, the methods of fighting is not just more supply of dollars by the banks into the system, but also by the expansion of our economy.
“We have to approach the foreign exchange matter, medium- to long-term by expanding our supply base, expanding our capacity to export, not just crude and raw materials but to expand industrial activity and that is why the programme of rural industrialisation, which we embarked, is going to come into play and be a major transformative impact when it is fully embarked.
“So, we are not in a crisis; the difficulties that we are going through now are difficulties the system will be able to accommodate, it has led to difficulties in the lives of ordinary people in Ghana but events were out of our control and we have to find a way of accommodating and we are going to be able to do so, so that we can get a more even keel.
“They are not matters of which we can be complacent, a difficult situation also requires some degree of fortitude and action and that is what we are trying to do… I believe that the manner in which they are being handled at the end of the day will be successful.”
In Mr Banda’s view, “This is an admission of the issues that many Ghanaians have been raising regarding the economy under this administration. We have said that the economy is in bad shape and President Akufo-Addo, by this comment, has admitted it.”
He further accused the government of plunging the country into the throes of debt.
“This is a government that when in opposition they condemned loans under the Mahama administration. But they are just borrowing, there is the $ 500 million Chinese loan they have brought, there is the $25 million IMF facility that they have brought to parliament together with others for consideration. They are clearly going against their own principle.”