Economist, Prof John Gatsi has disagreed with President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that the nation’s economy has turned the corner and on its way to growth.
According to the Dean of the School of Business of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana’s economy has not turned any corner. “Definitely, not so,” he said in response to President Akufo-Addo’s Christmas Message claim that the country is emerging from its economic challenges into growth.
The President expressed optimism that with sustained hard work and determination, the country will overcome the challenges presented by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
“Fellow Ghanaians, I’m particularly glad that our nation has turned the corner. Following three difficult years we, and indeed the world have faced. Inflation is being reined in. We’re experiencing a relatively stable exchange rate and growth in our economy is rebounding. We continue to attract investments, domestic and foreign, reinforcing our position as the gateway to Africa. And we remain a beacon of democracy, peace and stability in Africa.”
The President had also acknowledged that the nation was not out of the woods yet, but with hard work and determination, Ghana would make it.
Asked what he made of the President’s assurances to the populace, Prof Gatsi told Joy FM’s Newsnight that all the economic indicators worthy of consideration belie the President’s claim that the economy had turned the corner.
He said that to demonstrate the positive shift in the economy as claimed by the President, multiple indicators must align and illustrate this change, however, even in sectors where there are seeming growth, the growth is undulating and not robust, especially so within the industrial sector.
He highlighted the struggles faced by manufacturing and industry, citing challenges such as multiple taxation, a difficult operating environment, and limited access to credit at high costs, adding that there are no clear signs of improvement in these areas.
“Manufacturing and industry, in general, have been struggling with multiple taxations, difficult environment to operate, very difficult to access credit which is at huge costs translating to higher prices. We have not settled our debts, we have not been able to demonstrate any effort to turn the situation around… there are no signs that these things are improving,” he stressed.
He emphasised that the reduction in inflation alone should not be considered sufficient evidence to make such a claim.
Professor Gatsi, therefore, urged the government to collaborate on efforts to achieve a semblance of economic recovery, stressing that the president and his team will need to put their acts together to achieve the desired results.
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