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With the many economic hardships Ghanaians are going through, John Dramani Mahama fears many more businesses are on the verge of collapse considering the additional taxes the 2024 budget has introduced.

He says the excess levies will deplete the capital of many entrepreneurs who are already being punished by the numerous tax obligations they have to honour.

“…the 2024 budget and financial estimates of the government presented to parliament have introduced, yet again, a raft of taxes that will only add to a list of already burdensome taxes.
These taxes, combined with very high-interest rates, will further whittle away the capital of
Ghanaian businesses and hinder their competitiveness,” he told business magnates at the 9th Ghana CEO Network Business Cocktail Thursday, December 07, 2023.

Providing justification for his assertion, the 2024 flag bearer of the NDC paraphrased the famous Bob Marley and the Wailers’ song to court the gatherings’ attention of being the best persons to attest to the situation from their experiences.

“The economic crisis has ravaged all of us, but as business leaders, you have a deeper appreciation of the current situation. Paraphrasing Bob Marley and the Wailers, “who feels it, knows it”, adding that the “economic catastrophe we face is self-inflicted and caused by this government!”

He promised to ameliorate the situation should the NDC be given the opportunity in the next elections.

“However, for the sake of Ghanaians and the future of our dear country, we cannot allow the status quo to continue. As flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress, I have put forth several proposals to ensure that the economy is returned to a stable footing and that economic activity is expanded for job creation and growth,” he promised.

Meanwhile, he chastised President Akufo-Addo for putting Ghana to shame on the world stage with his abysmal performance, a situation he says is backed by data and experiences of the populace.

He noted that, “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.”

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