The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has blamed the country’s failing economy on the “reckless” borrowing and wasteful expenditure of the Akufo-Addo government.
Speaking on Dwaboase on TV XYZ, the former minister stated that the government, which had an insatiable taste for borrowing huge sums of money since 2017, failed to invest the funds in the critical sectors of the economy that focuses on productivity.
Ablakwa argued, that the borrowed funds were rather wasted on consumption which he believes has led to the collapsing economy currently.
Ghana’s economy is crumbling as it is plagued with a number of challenges, including rising inflation and the rising cost of fuel.
The country’s currency is also suffering depreciation, especially against the US dollar, while the public debt level has attained an unsustainable level.
The budget stalemate in Parliament over the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) has also compounded the crisis, leading to the downgrading of Ghana by credit rating agencies which has restricted Ghana’s access to international bond markets.
The government had to call for an emergency cabinet meeting at Peduase in the Eastern Region last week when fuel prices skyrocketed within the past 3 weeks and almost doubled the price of commodities in the West African country.
Following the crunch meeting which was chaired by President Nana Akufo-Addo, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is now set to address the country on the measures the government has taken to mitigate the harsh effects of the unstable economy on Thursday.
The address was preceded by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s announcement that the salaries of all his appointees had been reduced by up to 30 percent.
This, according to the presidency, is one of the measures introduced by the government to deal with the economic problems facing the country at the moment.
Announcing the development on Wednesday, the Presidency said it was one of the “measures to mitigate hardships in the economy.”
In a meeting with the Council of State members at the Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday, March 22, Mr Akufo-Addo noted that “the Minister for Finance is going to have major engagement with the nation on Thursday where he is going to be in the position to lay out specifically the measures that we have taken or we intend to take to correct or put the ship of sail better.”
But Ablakwa, a former Deputy Minister for Education, told host Prince Minkah that until the president curbs the wasteful expenditure at the seat of the president and changes his Finance Minister, President Akufo-Addo will not be able to fix anything about the economy.
“This president [Akufo-Addo] has shown us that he is not visionary; he lacks foresight,” he stated. “First of all, as a leader, when you inherit an economy like this you have to put up a solid foundation…COVID-19 showed us that we had no economy.”
“The President of New Zealand cut his pay; government expenditure was slashed. He even suspended his wedding,” he said while chastising Akufo-Addo for hiring expensive private jets at a time the country is facing economic challenges.
“The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, made a huge cut to the country’s expenditure, he even decided not to use the presidential jet and resorted to commercial flights but what do we see in Ghana? Ostentatious spending,” he added.
To him, the change the country needs is for the government’s Economic Management Team to be dissolved and new people with new ideas brought on board to take drastic measures that will be more impactful than a 30% pay cut of Akufo-Addo’s appointees.