Financial analyst and politician Attah Issah has blamed Ghana’s swelling import drive on the inability of the government to help businesses minimise cost of local production.
The Parliamentary candidate for the opposition NDC in Sagnarigu said the cost of doing business in Ghana has gone off the roof in than past year, making local products more expensive to the average Ghanaian who struggles to find a financial balance due to the harsh economic conditions.
To him, it is the reason the taste for foreign products has heightened among Ghanaians in the past few years, making it difficult for the government to control inflation.
Speaking in an interview on TV XYZ, Issah who is an entrepreneur bemoaned the tax components on the prices of locally made products, stressing that the west does not improve economies through imposing such nuisance taxes but rather create enabling environment for businesses to be more efficient and export more products.
“Ghana has acquired foreign taste due to [the] cost of doing business in Ghana,” he stated and explained that there is a demand for sanitary pads in the country but the locally ones are expensive due to the high cost of producing the pads.
“Because of government policies abroad, they are able to produce more at a lower cost so when their products come here you see that their prices are lower… so we have gradually acquired foreign taste.”
He said the situation also makes products made in Ghana very expensive on the international market hence hampering the country’s export drive.
He urged government to bridge the gap between the products being consumed in the country and what the country produces for the people. He wants the government to focus on agriculture and adding value to raw materials in the country.
“You need to prioritise areas that you think you have competitive advantage in,” he urged while pointing that the local production of cocoa, rice and sugar will help sustain the economy through foreign exchange.
To him, high interest rates were also hampering local production especially when private sector industry players lack access to credit to thrive and contribute to the growth of the country’s GDP.
Despite all the investments the NPP government brags of, Atta Issah believes the government did not channel the resources to the right sectors such as the private sector.
He also bemoaned that tax incentives were not given to the right companies, adding that a wanton amount of GHS 47 billion to “selected foreign companies” to the detriment of local firms.
Expressing disappointment in the Akufo-Addo government, Issah urged Ghanaians to believe in the flag bearer of the NDC, former President John Mahama, who has promised to tap into the human capital of the country through the implementation of a 24-hour economy to revive the country’s finaces.
“Tax exemptions shall be well targeted by the 24hr economy under Mahama,” he added.
NDC’s Approach to 24-hr economy
The 24-hour economy policy will be a major boost for the next NDC administration’s import substitution and export drive under John Mahama.
A Mahama government will leverage it to stabilize the national currency, improve Ghana’s reserves, bring down inflation and interest rates, create more employment opportunities and improve livelihoods.
Mahama has pledged that his government will create an enabling environment for businesses and companies to operate 24/7 by providing an atmosphere of improved security and public safety.
He pledges that his government will provide cheaper and reliable electricity for participating businesses based on a Time Of Use (TOU) tariff system.
Mahama has also promised Companies that sign unto the 24-hour economy policy modern smart meters which will be calibrated to charge a lesser tariff (per KW/h) for power consumed during off-peak hours.
Tax Incentives will also be given businesses that subscribe to the 24-hour Economy policy to reduce the cost of their operations and enhance their competitiveness.
The NDC government pledges to provide financing support for certain strategic agro-processing factories and manufacturing companies to boost production for import substitution and exports.
By Henryson Okrah |Myxyzonline.com