The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, has blamed policy inconsistencies and lack of proper implementation plans of government policies for the country’s current economic challenges.
He explained that, despite the proliferation of good policies aimed at growing the economy, all efforts were being hindered by ineffective implementation of plans and strategies.
He said the situation had been enabled by corruption, political interference, personal gains, nature of constitutional structure and the fear of electoral defeat.
Dr Ayim-Darke was speaking yesterday in Accra during the latest series of the Graphic Business Breakfast Meeting organised in partnership with Stanbic Bank and Joy News.
Held under the theme “Living within our means: The imperative success” was to highlight economic challenges and propose solutions.
It was attended by experts in academia, policy think tanks and civil society organisations (CSOs) to fashion out how the country could build a resilient economy that could not be impacted negatively by any external economic shocks.
Mr Ayim-Darke said the challenges in the implementation of policies played a critical role in the continuous poor performance of the Ghanaian cedi saying that the “issue could force manufacturers to result to importing raw materials from Europe rather than use the available ones in the country.”
He therefore called on the government to provide conducive working conditions for the citizens especially manufacturers and investors which could help lessen the pressure on the Ghanaian cedi.
He further asked the government to promote the introduction of technology to the manufacturing stage of goods production adding that it was key in ensuring efficiency and generating more revenue leading to sustainable income.
The Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr John Kwakye, said it was normal for government to incur deficits however the size of the deficits determines if the economy was being managed properly.
He added that recent reports indicated Ghana used about 40 per cent of its expenditure to service its debts which was affecting development in the country.
On the way forward, he proposed the country develop financial buffers including “living within our means, creation of funds to take care of future debts, halt borrowing, creation of infrastructure development” that could help in making Ghana’s economy resilient.
He tasked government to leverage on internal resources to support the transformation of the economy and desist from party politics that could have dire consequences on the economy.
Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana, Prof. Eric Osei-Assibey noted that government’s consistent borrowing was due to the lack of financial discipline which makes internally generated revenue insufficient.
“Government does not have the financial discipline to ensure that the revenue that we generate here are just enough for our expenditure and governments over the years have turned to be very responsive in their fiscal debt and that has put us in a vicious cycle of debt,” he explained.
He added that Ghanaians’ large appetite for imported goods was negatively affecting the economic growth of the country and urged the government to explore alternative sources of revenue to address economic challenges.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS