President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo this weekend attended two important events.
They were a three-day crunch cabinet retreat at Peduase in the Eastern Region and the 92nd Speech and Prize-giving Day of St. Augustine’s College held on Saturday in Cape Coast, where he was the Special Guest of Honour.
The two events have become very significant in the affairs of the country because of the purpose of the Peduase meeting and remarks the President made at both events.
The Peduase meeting was for the President and his Cabinet ministers to review data on the effects of the COVID-19 on all sectors of the economy and reliefs to ease the hardships resulting thereof.
It is now public knowledge that apart from the health issues, COVID-19 has deprived a good number of Ghanaians of their livelihoods.
The situation is worse for people doing their own businesses, with the greatest strain on those who eke a living such that when they are not able to make some money in a day, only God knows how they survive.
Therefore, it is in itself a relief to hear President Akufo-Addosanctioning some major reliefs as part of efforts to set the economy on the path of recovery and back to its pre-COVID-19 state.
The reliefs include opening of the country’s land borders; easing of general COVID-19 restrictions and measures to arrest depreciation of the currency;measures to tackle the rising fuel prices occasioned by the global economic turmoil brought about by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict; and measures to address the persistent rise in prices of goods and services.
The opening of the country’s land borders would first of all give solace to border communities whose members or residents engage in cross-border activities to make ends meet.
Then on the large scale, others can import goods by land such as the people who import goods from Nigeria.
Thus smuggling can be reduced for the government to accrue some import duty at the borders.
That said, the Ghanaian Times would like to point out that the unbridled rising fuel prices cannot be blamed on only the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
That approach can limit the scope of that problem, so this paper suggests that rather than go on that path, the government must look at the pre-conflict factors too.
The conflict is not one month yet, but the problem of rising fuel prices is age-old, so there is the need to address all the related factors and seek a holistic solution.
The Ghanaian Times has the conviction that if the government can adopt measures to address the persistent rise in prices of goods and services, Ghanaians will have all the reasons to hail it.
Currently, prices of goods and services rise by day and what is worrying is the price differentials with regard to the same brands of goods and types of services.
Sometimes, one can only conclude that some traders price their goods in a way that smacks of sabotage. For instance, on the same lane in a market, the same brand of a mosquito spray sells at GH¢17 in some shops and GH¢19 in others. Why?
Every Ghanaian is waiting for the announcement of the details of reliefs in the coming days as promised.
In Cape Coast, President Akufo-Addo sort of gave assurance of the resilience of the economy.
Then he expressed his government’s commitment to making technical, vocational and education training (TVET) as the bedrock for the country’s socio-economic development.
To this end, he said his government was working to expand TVET opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels, as well as strengthen the linkages between education and industry.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that enough lip-service had been paid to the TVET sector but his government would resolve the challenges.
The Ghanaian Times appeals to the government to address the lip-service in all the sectors of the economy for the betterment of the Ghanaian people.