Dear Eminent Citizens,
Welcome back from Senchi, where I hear the food and rooms are first class and expensive. The country thank you very much and we owe you for your selflessly dedication of your time, energies, resources and intellect as we try to get out of the bottomless pit that we finds itself in. To say the economy is in distress is an understatement; it is at its lowest ebb since 1992, when we ushered in the democratic dispensation.
History will reward you for what you just did, the timing is what was wrong, if it was the era of John Agyekum Kufuor, you will all have gone home with medals to show to your families.
Whilst, you were away at a place that almost made you lose your sense of place and time, as you felt you were holidaying in Dubai, because of how nice and serene the place was. I have taken it upon myself to bring to your attention what happened to Ghana and Ghanaians, whilst you were away.
Not that what happened was new, am only bringing it to your attention, so that the final document that you will present to the government to implement, will address, all the issues I will place before you.
In the meantime, I hope you will not propose the setting up of another Committee to look into what you did, as it will be a drain on our resources.
1. Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)
ECG did what they know how to do best and that is, they made sure half of Accra, was for twelve to twenty four hours taken out of civilization.
They own the light, so they took it, this is despite the fact that majority of Ghanaians have already bought and paid for it (prepaid), in anticipation that they will get electricity, they (ECG) still decide when you should get light or not.
Only this time around, they had a nice alibi, and that is the transformer at the Dzorwulu sub-station went up in flames, followed by the one in Achimota.
I am sure and know all you do is critical to moving this country from a primary producer of raw materials, to a secondary producer, is the need for industrialization is anything to come by.
Industrialization is not possible without the provision of uninterrupted and irregular supply of electricity.
A commodity that is supposed to be a necessity, has now become a luxury, we relish having the light on for one month, without it going off, when that should not be the case. If we must develop, we need the fundamentals to be right and that is, we need power. Government need to invest in not only power generation but distribution. For us to become self sufficient, we need to explore all the alternative sources of generating electricity, i.e. thermal, wind, solar etc.
I hope that among your recommendations, electricity provision will rank high.
Whilst, you were away, the Statistical Service department released the inflation figures for the month of April and it is 14.7 per cent. This represents a 0.2 percent increase from that of March.
I need not tell you, the effect this is going to have on the general prices of goods and services. Inflation has been going up although marginally since June 2013. We all go to the market; we all buy foodstuffs and eat so anytime inflation inches up, prices automatically goes up. It is my hope that you will recommend to Government a concrete and feasible solution to arrest the continuous increase in inflation.
3. EXCHANGE RATE
The Cedi, is currently the worst performing currency in the world, it has become a very excellent diver and is outperforming every currency.
Since the beginning of the year, the Cedi has been depreciating on a daily basis, at a faster rate. The Bank of Ghana (BoG), in response to the depreciation introduced some measures to arrest it. These measures only worked for some time, until it assumed it role again, because the measures were adhoc, without addressing the fundamental problems.
It has performed badly against the major trading currencies, i.e. the US Dollars, the British Pounds and the Euro.
For as long as we continue to rely heavily on imported goods, our currency will continue to suffer depreciation. It is my hope that the National Economic Forum, will suggest to the BoG and the Government the best way out for our currency debacles.
We have since Independence, developed a penchant for foreign goods, anything manufactured in Ghana is considered inferior, for this reason, we have to every year; look for Dollars especially to shore up our foreign reserve. In order to get out of this cycle, we need to do the following, ban the importation of certain products, because they can be manufactured in Ghana, as we have both the competitive and comparative advantage.
Products, like tooth pick, toilet roll etc. and secondly, we need to encourage local consumption of locally manufactured goods, as well as
support Ghanaians both financially, logistically with tax incentives to go into manufacturing. Until we are able to do these things, the Cedi will continue to chase the Dollars, for as long as we remain a country.
Unemployment continues to be a major challenge for countries all over the world, and Ghana is no exception. They are teeming masses of Ghanaian youth, roaming the streets of the cities, looking for a means of livelihood. The devil they say, finds work for the idle hand, most of the people engaged in armed robbery, sakawa, prostitution and all the other ills of society, but because of circumstances beyond their control. Man must eat and they will do anything to eat.
Government must stimulate growth, in order to create employment, incentives and tax rebate must be given to start-up companies, so that we don’t stifle them out of business, because of obnoxious taxes. The Government must revamp all the State companies established during the time of our first President and founder, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The number of graduates coming out of the universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions are swelling by the day, without creating corresponding jobs.
We must do something to this the unfortunate trend, before it blows in our faces one day.
Finally, I wish this will not be another jamboree or a meeting of the elites in the society, who have all contributed to the problems we find ourselves in today. Those present, were former Finance Ministers, former Governors of Bank of Ghana, Businessmen, former Ministers of State, Civil Society Groups, the Clergy, the academicians, political parties etc, tell me if all these people are not the reason we are where we are today.
Welcome back home, I hope the story from now, will be different.