Former President, John Dramani Mahama, has proposed a number of measures be believes will salvage Ghana’s sinking economy.
According to Mahama, these measures are to be deployed as quickly as possible in order to avert a total collapse of the economy.
He made the recommendations during a June 30, 2022 presentation in Accra.
He listed a number of factors he believed were responsible for the downturn before making the proposals on how to avert an economic catastrophe.
The 2020 flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress also tasked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take action to avert what he termed a “catastrophe.”
“This government must act now and seek help to avert imminent national catastrophe. Ghanaians did not hand over the reins of power to them to crash the ship of state through empty pride.
“President Akufo-Addo has a responsibility to keep the ship afloat, the same way he met it,” he added.
Fire Ofori Atta and ‘dead wood ministers’
Mahama singled out Ofori-Atta for stern critique, calling on the President to fire him as a first step to resetting the economy.
“Meanwhile it will serve the President well to use some instruments from the Presidential tool kit in times of crisis such as this. Fire your finance minister,” Mahama said in the latter part of his presentation.
According to the former president, aside Ofori-Atta, other non-performing Ministers needed to be shown the exit.
“… conduct a major shake-up of Government to remove the many dead woods that have turned ministries into their fiefdoms and finally huddle with the best brains.”
Gather best brains and formulate economic recovery plan
According to Mahama, even after he had used local measures via the Senchi Forum to seek a solution out of the woods during his time in office, his advice in that direction has not been heeded to.
Allied to sacking ministers, Mahama added that it was time for government to consult all stakeholders with the view to find a solution to current economic mess.
“… this country must formulate a comprehensive recovery plan for our economy,” he stressed.
Seek help from IMF
Amid recent talk of government contemplating whether or not to turn to the International Monetary Fund, IMF, the former president has asked government to seek assistance because of the deep rooted nature of the present challenges.
“In the last few days, there has been talk from some regime actors about a potential or impending IMF programme. Due to the nature and depth of our economic problems, this government virtually has no other sustainable option.
“IMF programmes come with fiscal consolidation and insistence on fiscal discipline, which can lead to some recovery and improvements on the macro-economic front. Government has however so mismanaged our economy and left it in such a terrible state that fiscal consolidation alone will not do the trick.”
Mahama also strongly advised government to look at restructuring Ghana’s debts with the view to freeing fiscal space.
“I suggested that this government immediately enters negotiations with multi-lateral partners with the view to engaging our commercial creditors to restructure our debt and ease the debt service burden to offer us desperately needed respite even as corrective measures are applied to our seriously ailing economy.
“Government has shown no inclination towards doing this despite not having any clear plan to deal with the problem,” he added.
Other issues raised:
Mahama further accused government of having their priorities wrong and squandering funds meant to fight COVID-19.
According to him, the country is fraught with several challenges because all sources of the country’s revenues are no longer available because government took the monies upfront and squandered it.
He asserted, for instance, that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has collateralized the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) until 2035.
This means that from now till 2035, no government can access cash from ESLA. John Dramani Mahama added that GETFUND has also been used to float a bond.