Deepen dialogue on debt exchange programme to get buy-in of all Ghanaians …Prof Osei-Assibey urges govt

A Senior lectur­er at the Univer­sity of Ghana, Professor Eric Osei-Assibey, has called for the deepening of dialogue between the government and all stakeholders to find workable solutions to the country’s eco­nomic challenges.

He said the current economic situation was one that required a concerted effort in addressing, stressing that “critically we need to do this restructuring and it will require the support of all of us to do it right.”

Prof..Osei-Assibey made the call at Danquah Institute’s Eco­nomic Forum organised in Accra over the weekend.

The forum which brought together economic experts from academia and industry was to throw more light on the country’s economic woes and to finding practical ways of resolving the challenges for the good of all.

It was on the theme: “Restor­ing macro-economic stability and sustainable economic growth: Our collective responsibility.

Participating in the forum were, Dr Adu Owusu Sarkodie, UG; Dr Kwadwo Opoku, Re­search Fellow, UG; Dr George Domfeh, UG; Dr Agyapomaa Gyeke-Dako, University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) and Dr Ama Boafo-Arthur, Department of Distance Education, University of Ghana.

Prof. Osei-Assibey noted that the decision by government to undertake debt restructuring as part of measures to restore the economy back on track was a diffi­cult decision, however it remained the only option available now.

He said the restructuring like a surgery was necessary, however, it must be done well in order not to worsen the already precarious situation.

“To be able to do it and do it well all Ghanaians must support the government to achieve this, but government must also deepen its consultations and engagements to win all Ghanaians to support the exercise,” he said.

He noted that the current situation although dire, presents an opportunity for the economy to be reset towards agricultural expan­sion and manufacturing.

“I think our banks must start investing in the real sector and move away from heavily investing in government instruments. They must invest in agriculture and the manufacturing sector and if they were doing this, they would have created jobs and the people would have had more money to save in the same banks and this situation where government is having to exchange bonds wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

On his part, Dr Domfeh urged Ghanaians to exercise patience and support government through this challenging times.

He said the measures being adopted by government albeit painful and may affect all Ghana­ians, would in the end inure to the benefit of all Ghanaians.

Dr Domfeh noted that it was important for the country to step up its revenue mobilisation in or­der to close the deficit gap and en­sure sustainability going forward.

On her part the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Dr Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, said the time had come for the vicious cycle of economic challenges that often compels the country to run to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

She said to break the cycle would require the collective effort of all Ghanaians by owning up to their responsibilities and govern­ment also doing its part.


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