Today’s budget must inspire hope for youth - Business Consultant

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Mr Maximus Attah - Business Consultant
Mr Maximus Attah - Business Consultant

Business Consultant, Mr Maximus Attah, has asked the government to use the 2022 budget to inspire hope for the teeming youth of the country.

He said the budget must address the challenges of the youth of the country and provide them with opportunities.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic ahead of the 2022 Budget presentation, he said “the budget must inspire hope and more opportunities for the youth.”

He said the youth of the country were becoming desperate due to the lack of employment opportunities for them and it was therefore necessary for the government to do something about it.

“The average wait time for any of our graduates from tertiary is between five to six years after university which could be very depressing,” he stated.

He said while the government was encouraging the youth to go into entrepreneurship, one of the challenges was access to start-up capital.

Mr Attah, who is also a banker, therefore, urged the government to use the budget to introduce a funding mechanism for start-up businesses in the country.

“Entrepreneurship is not easy and one of the main barriers is access to capital.

The government should therefore come up with a mechanism that would help provide start-up capital for the youth,” he stated.

Macro stability and growth

Mr Attah said while the fiscal consolidation path and the macro stability efforts of the government were great, it was not any different from what the country has witnessed from successive governments.

“The fiscal stability efforts are awesome as we need to get the macro economy stable and push our economy to the levels where we can begin to compete favourably with many of the Asian tigers which started around independence with us.

“We however need a balance between the macro and what is happening at the micro level.

It should be the people first and this is why I believe some governments are beginning to talk about human development index,” he said.

He said it was crucial for the government to find a fine balance and blend between what it was doing at the macro level and the micro level.

“Some countries in Africa including Kenya have been boasting of single digit inflation for a long time now but this has not necessarily translated into the growth and improvement in the lives of people.

“If we get the macro well and the people are screaming for a better life, it means they have to look at it again,” he said.

High interest rates

Mr Attah also asked the government to have a look at the high interest rates regime in the country.

“Businesses are still complaining about interest rates which are still very high.

If you match the spread between the current Bank of Ghana policy rate of 13.5 per cent and the lending rates of banks, it is still ridiculously high.

“The budget should also be able to create room for how we can move beyond moral suasion to incentivising the banks to bring down their rates,” he stated.

He said this would enable the private sector to borrow more to expand their businesses and employ more.

“Government cannot create all the jobs so it has to put in place measures to enable the private sector to grow and create the needed jobs, and also honour their tax obligation from where the government will improve internally generated funds for accelerated development,” he said.