Mahama: Govt must pay attention to concerns about economy

Former president, John Mahama,  has called on the government to pay attention to concerns about the country’s economic situation and work to address it.

According to him, the deployment of “sloganeering, public relations, populism, divisive rhetoric and plain political deception,” would not save the country from its current economic woes.

He explained that the present state of the economy was unacceptable and had come about due to mismanagement.

Speaking in Accra on Wednesday to climax his two-day ‘Thank You’ tour of the Greater Accra Region and a successful tour of the country in general, Mr. Mahama described the current government’s economic response to challenges as a ‘common national tragedy.’

The lecture was themed: “Thank Ghana, Social Justice and A Sustainable Economy.” 

“Ladies and gentlemen, civil servants, doctors, nurses, teachers, businessmen and women, traders, farmers, drivers, and the teeming unemployed youth of Ghana, this government is our common national tragedy,” he added.

Mr Mahama said the economic challenges facing the country had further been compounded by the lack of priorities in the government’s management strategy.

“The consequences of misguided priorities in economic management have led to unbearable hardship, high unemployment and the frustration and despair felt by millions of the youth,” he added.

Referencing the continuous increase in fuel prices, high importation taxes and prices of basic commodities, the former President said the challenges was a direct result of the economic mismanagement. 

He explained that the present economic decline was more shocking, considering the quantum of resources available to the government and it did not have to fight power crisis.

Another area of concern to Mr Mahama was unemployment, and he called on the government to look at other avenues to provide jobs for the country’s youth.

He referred to the government’s ways of providing employment including the Nation Builders Corps (NABCo) as unsustainable and ad-hoc.

“Unemployment continues to plague our country and it is clear this government has no sustainable plan to address it. The botched NABCO experiment has proven not to be the pathway and the means to an end. We need to come together and face youth unemployment head-on,” he said.

Mr Mahama stated that unemployment was a national security crisis which requires an immediate resolution.

Proffering solutions to help reduce unemployment, he suggested to the government to adopt some of the strategies proposed by the NDC in its 2020 manifesto to deal with youth unemployment.

According to him, the plan, if implemented, had the potential of creating an average of

250,000 jobs annually.

He urged the government to further reduce the burden of unemployment by lessening the tax burdens on small and medium scale businesses in the 2022 budget.

The former president debunked the notion that the public sector was full, saying there was clear human resource gaps in some critical state institutions.

He blamed the government for lacking innovative strategies to secure financing for the human resource gaps.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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