Flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama, has reiterated his quest to transform Ghana with his 24-hour economy if elected President.
He says the plummeting economy with its accompanying challenges the citizenry have been subjected to, requires an urgent attention since the ruling government has done nothing to curtail the situation.
Speaking at the 9th Ghana CEO Network Business Cocktail Thursday, December 07, 2023, John Mahama reechoed a lamentation from one of the CEOs to the fact that “we want to pay every legitimate tax, BUT the needless harassment from GRA must stop. Back-dated tax audits, re-audits and assessments based on the whims of the taxman are killing businesses,” which he says speaks volumes of the hardship Ghanaian businesses are facing.
According to the former President, the Finance Minister’s assertion that Ghana has turned the corner, a statement he made during the presentation of the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government is a falsity considering the realities businesses are facing.
He said many enterprises have collapsed due to a poorly-run economy which has rendered many unemployed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, many businesses still bear the brunt of the economic meltdown. This is because, contrary to the Finance Minister’s assertion, we have not turned any corner, and 2024 will be a very challenging year. Many have shut down their businesses, and hundreds of thousands of laid-off workers are still at home,” he lamented.
He also mentioned the banking sector cleanup which has left many skilled labour unemployed due to the incompetence that guided the infamous decision of the Akufo-Addo government.
“Businesses that moved headquarters from Ghana to our neighbouring countries have yet to
return. The poorly thought-through banking sector clean-up has left thousands
of skilled financial sector workers, jobless and impoverished,” he added.
John Mahama listed the delay in the second tranche of the money from the IMF bailout and the government’s struggle to secure the cocoa-syndicated loan as part of the repercussions of the Akufo-Addo poorly led administration.
“As I speak, the second tranche of the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility, due on the first of November, has still not been received because of a delay by our external creditors to sign off on our debt restructuring programme.
“Of course, the consequences of our debt default have also started manifesting. For the first time in thirty years, Ghana struggled to assemble a cocoa-syndicated loan, which had almost become routine on our financial calendar. Major infrastructure projects have stopped because lenders have cut funding as a direct fallout from our debt default.
“Independent Power Producers continue to threaten power cuts due to mounting debts affecting their operations. A few days ago, one of the producers threatened to take out 560 MW of power before a promise to pay was made. Ghanaians face grave uncertainty if more of them follow suit,” he told the gathering.