Ghana’s economic downturn that has exacerbated the high cost of living according to flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has depleted the country’s goodwill on the global stage.
Mr. Mahama says many of these challenges stemming from the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) bad governance are not mere propaganda but realities backed by data and experiences of the populace.
The former President, at the 9th Ghana CEO Network Business Cocktail Thursday, December 07, 2023, said “as a proud Ghanaian and a political leader, it is disheartening that the government has severely damaged our country’s reputation on the global stage.”
“Recent data from available research shows that the cost of living in Ghana is very high, and people are struggling to make ends meet due to the economic downturn,” he noted.
John Mahama explained that the government’s ill-famed Domestic Debt Exchange Programme that has hoarded the funds of investors including pensioners, painted Ghana in bad light to the international community.
He indicated that “business confidence remains low, with private sector credit declining in real terms. As of October 2023, credit to the private sector had decreased significantly by 31.6%” due to “the government’s excessive borrowing over the last seven years and reliance on the short-term treasury market.”
The “lending rates increased to over 32% in October 2023 due to the Bank of Ghana’s tight monetary policy, high treasury bill rates, and rising non-performing loans” per John Mahama’s assertion, are part of the reasons for the mess the economy has been subjected to.
He lamented how Ghanaian businesses have had to suffer for the first three quarters of the year which has been a major factor that has hampered the progress of the economy.
“The immutable reality is that the first three quarters of the year (2023) have also been a tragic period for Ghana’s industries, causing a setback for the country’s economic transformation. While the mining and quarry sector is still holding out, most sub-sectors, such as construction, electricity, water supply, sewerage, and waste management, have experienced a decline,” he averred.
With the unemployment rate remaining high with the “latest data indicating about 14%”, John Mahama asserted that “these are clear signs of an ailing economy— an economy whose industrial base is failing and businesses collapsing with growing unemployment and its associated poverty and misery.”