Tomorrow, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, will present the government’s 2024 Annual Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.
Already, various interest groups have voiced their positions on the economy and urged the government to look at the plight of the people and cushion them with the abolition of some taxes and reduction of others that they consider to be increasing the cost of doing business.
It is said in local parlance that the person who has performed a task before is called “Ayeboafoh” and we think the NPP government deserves such an accolade because in 2017 it abolished a number of taxes it labeled as nuisance taxes.
Our economy has been at the crossroads since the global pandemic struck, hitting all countries including Ghana very hard. The naysayers, ever since have not credited the government with any pragmatic measures to turn the economy around.
To these naysayers including NDC leaders and their cohorts in the media, academia and civil society, the current economic difficulties are the making of Nana Akufo-Addo government and for political reasons link Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia to it because of Election 2024.
Although the Vice President, undeniably is part of the government, the naysayers know we do not run a co-presidency, but they will for mischief reasons say Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government making us wonder whether these NDC apparatchiks read the constitution at all. With the sleepless nights the government appointees have endured over the last few years, the opposition elements too have described the government as incompetent in an attempt to create the impression that President Akufo-Addo has equaled the ‘incompetent’ tag majority of Ghanaians placed on John Mahama prior to Election 2024.
In all these trying times, Ofori-Atta has also not been spared the smear campaign, including the accusation that he lacked a principled position on our engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Sometimes we tend to forget about developments in the country because when the country went HIPC in 2001, the then Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo kicked against it but President Kufuor took the decision as the Executive President of the Republic.
In the latest decision to seek IMF support, the final decision rested with President Akufo-Addo, who was not obliged to accept the advice of the Finance Minister.
That is why the motion filed by the NDC Minority in Parliament could not fly because they lacked the numbers required by the constitution to censure a Minister of State.
We are worried about the attitude of some of our countrymen and women who have never wished this country well.
To them, this economy should collapse so that they can have the opportunity to preach the rescue mission agenda or the regime change mantra.
They always pray that the government does not succeed in its collaboration with the IMF for the credit support. One of their media friends last week quoted an economist, obviously aligned to the NDC, as claiming that the government has missed the November 1 deadline for the second tranche of the IMF support because the government could not reach agreement with its external creditors.
In spite of the sharp rebuttal by the Ministry of Finance, the said media house that boasts to be fearless and independent is yet to correct its wrong reportage.
We believe that the patriotic citizens still have faith in the Akufo-Addo government to fix the economy as he indicated during the Covid period. He said at the time that he has the capacity to restore the economic health but not how to bring people back to life.
Let us give the government the needed help to improve the productive base of the economy to generate the needed resources for national development.
Economists such as Professor Gatsi, Professor Bokpin and Jack of all trade commentator, Professor Gyampo would not succeed as prophets of doom.
Like magicians used to say many years ago, the government shall put them to shame.