The Minority in Parliament said it is alarmed by the “unprecedented economic meltdown” the country is experiencing and its implications on national security.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the caucus said with inflation at over 37 per cent, debt-to-GDP projected to hit 104 per cent by end of year, astronomical petroleum price hikes and the local currency, the Ghana Cedi, slumping to its lowest level, the country was on a slippery slope and steps must be taken to repair the economy.
“The resultant job losses, spike in transport fares and general hardship suffered by Ghanaians without doubt portends grave danger for our country’s security.
“If care is not taken, Ghana, our beloved country, will soon be heading in the direction of Sri Lanka,” the Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee, James Agalga, told the press.
The caucus reiterated its “sacred duty” to protect the fourth republican constitutional order hence the need for them to arouse the consciousness of the government to threats arising out the economic malaise.
This threat, he said, has been identified by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when he outdoors the National Security Strategy but little has been done to ensure the symbiotic linkage between the country’s economic security and overall national security.
“It is against this backdrop that we repeat our calls for the president to dismiss his cousin, the finance minister without further delay to allow for new thinking to be brought to bear on the ongoing negotiations with the IMF,” Mr Agalga, the Member of Parliament for Builsa North, charged.
Responding to the Minority that little has been done to address the challenges, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, said the opposition lawmakers must take into consideration the global economic environment in their diagnosis of the problem.
He said, the Minority is to be partially blamed for the economic meltdown the country was going through and should be called out.
“When an opposition touts itself of depriving the government of revenue, and say that if they hadn’t [created the confusion around the e-levy], government would have had revenue and we should be congratulated for depriving the government of revenue, you are part of the problem,” he said.
In view of this, Mr Nitiwul, MP, Bimbilla, extended a hand of invitation to the minority to join the government to overcome the prevailing economic environment by supporting its programmes and policies that may come before the House.
“I am happy that they know that economic challenges portend security challenges for us. That is why all of us, be it in government or opposition, must put Ghana first to ensure that together, we will be able to build a nation that we can be proud of.”
Regardless of what the situation would be, he said Ghanaians would go to the polls to elect a new president and lawmakers for an administration and that it was a duty of all to hand over a sound economy to the next government.
“We accept that there are economic challenges locally and internationally and that is why we must all pull together as a country so that we don’t go the Sri Lanka way,” he said.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI