Some radicalism needed to fix hardship

Yesterday, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, addressed the media in Accra and, for that matter, the whole country regarding measures the government intends to adopt to arrest the harsh economic conditions in the country. (See our lead story today).

We can say that the government so far has done its bit to ensure socio-economic progress in the country, but the current situation demands a corresponding approach and one not following the status quo.

Even before the minister said yesterday that the government was not oblivious of the harsh conditions in the country, the citizenry knew the government was aware of it, which is why there are calls all the place that the government should step in and restore some normalcy.

Therefore, what the public want to hear, the experts would say, should be what the government has put in place to fix the problem, even if on trial basis, rather than the intentions or plans of the government.

The media can help only by telling the public what is on the ground and what is on the ground now is that prices of goods change multiple times sometimes in just a day and at best in days, not weeks.

How long will it take the government to have all the meetings, do all the assessments and adopt the measures to reverse the unbearable situation?

At the centre of the skyrocketing prices is the “raging” depreciation of the cedi against the dollar and it is now that the public is being informed that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) is scheduled to engage managers of commercial banks and forex bureau operators as part of measures to halt the rapid depreciation of the cedi and also curb the undue speculation on forex rates in the country.

The two related problems the central bank is attempting to address now, have emerged and run for months.

Ghana imports more than it exports and the dollar is used for the imports, which

means that when the dollar rises against the cedi, prices of goods would naturally

go up.

Therefore, the BoG should have jumped in immediately the GH¢5-to-the-dollar stable situation last year started going south, to arrest it.

As of the time we were going to bed yesterday, GH¢1 was officially equivalent to 0.0714286 USD or GH¢14 but the forex bureau were buying the dollar at GH¢14.50 and selling it at GHc15.50 and the speculation is that the dollar can exchange for more than GH¢20 by Christmas.

We live in a country where prices only stabilize and later rise but do not fall, which means unless radical measures are adopted, not much would change.

We therefore wish to appeal to the government to think outside the box as it tries to find the solution to the crisis.

This is not the time to play politics with such an important matter as the current unbearable situation in the country, if the government wants the whole country to help in fixing the problem.

Thus, party communicators should be cautious about what they spew out to the public and where they do not have the capacity to handle certain topics or issues, they should keep quiet rather than inflame the emotions of the suffering public, who are now discerning than ever before.

All in all, the Ghanaian Times wishes that the government would identify the best of measures to reverse the current situation to bring about some solace.

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