A former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper says the current woes of Ghana’s economy cannot entirely be attributed to COVID-19 because the economy started seeing challenges before the outbreak of the pandemic.
Speaking at Citi TV/UPSA’s 2021 Post-Budget Dialogue on Thursday, March 18, 2021, Mr. Tekper suggested that the government continues to give false assumptions that the current problems facing the country’s economy is due to the pandemic.
“There appears to be an effort [by the government] to blame everything on COVID-19, but there were problems before COVID-19,” he said.
Many government officials on various platforms have indicated that like other countries across the world, Ghana’s economy has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic which saw the country losing huge amounts of revenue yet borrowing more to fight the pandemic.
The caretaker Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu during the 2021 budget presentation last week pegged the fiscal impact of COVID-19 at GHS19.7 billion.
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told the media earlier this month that the shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy had been so severe that there was the need for critical attention to be paid to its quick recovery.
He said before the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was on a smooth rise from 2017 to 2020, improving in various areas such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, macroeconomic stability and specific development programmes.
“The effect of the pandemic, among other things, has been a sharp reversal in the macroeconomic and fiscal gains that we were making up until the pandemic. This week, the government has two major events, the SONA and the budget that are expected to kick off the 2021 programme,” he said at a press conference.
But according to Seth Terkper, such claims are not entirely true as the economy pre-COVID-19 was already impaired.