The Agbogbomefia of Asogli, Togbe Afede XIV, has called on the government to take decisive steps to promote the indigenous ownership of vital businesses to change the state of the economy for the better.
He mentioned some of the businesses as those in the banking, telecommunication and oil sectors, for instance, which were dominated by foreigners, and said the massive movement of funds outside by those businesses for the payment of dividends took up almost every profit from their trading activities in the country.
He said Ghana was now in a state of double jeopardy, with rocketing fuel prices and the unending fall of the local currency.
“Sadly, Ghana is the only country I know where prices, including the cost of the US dollar, go up and never come down again,” the Agbogbomefia observed.
He made the call when members of the Board of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Ho last Friday.
Led by its Chairman, Joe Addo-Yobo, the NPA Board held discussions with Togbe Afede behind closed doors.
The meeting was part of efforts by the management of the NPA to hold discussions with all stakeholders in all 16 regions to discuss issues of mutual interest.
The board members who were part of the NPA delegation were Diana Megre, Bernard Owusu, Manuel Sawyerr and Kwami Sefa Kayi.
Welcoming the delegation prior to the meeting, the Agbogbomefia said there was now a gigantic task facing the government to make fuel prices affordable to consumers, saying that required bold and immediate strategies to realise.
Togbe Afede also highlighted the need for a reduction in interest rates on bank loans to bring relief to local businesses and support the rapid growth of the economy.
“We need low, stable inflation and not high, stable inflation,” he stressed.
The Chief Executive of the NPA, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, said the meeting was to seek the wisdom of the ‘guardians of the land’ in addressing the current fuel price situation in the country.
“Togbe Afede has a rich experience in the energy sector, of which the petroleum industry is an important part, and that makes him a valuable asset to the nation,” he said.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said Ghana was not immune to the global petroleum crisis, for which reason the NPA was in serious consultations with the ministries of Finance and Energy, planners of the economy, and other stakeholders to adopt appropriate strategies to mitigate the trend as soon as possible.