Former President John Mahama
Former President John Mahama

Indigenous businesses critical to nation’s economic revival — John Mahama

Former President John Mahama has said the role of the Council of Indigenous Business Associations (CIBA) in the country’s economic revival is critical.  

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He, therefore, said as a baby nurtured by the NDC, “we look forward to working very closely with you (CIBA) in terms of how we can transform your businesses”.

“I always said to my Cabinet when we were in government that if business people are happy, the government would be happy, so we must do our possible best to let you make money,” Mr Mahama said, adding that everywhere in the world, small and medium enterprises were the main drivers of the economy.

The former President said this at a forum organised by CIBA in Accra on Monday.

The 15-member council includes the Ghana Electronics Servicing Technicians Association (GESTA), the Ghana National Association of Traditional Healers (GNATH), the National Association of Beauticians & Hairdressers (NABH), the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association (GNTDA), the Federation of Ghana Goldsmiths & Jewellers Association (FGGJA) and the National Drinking Bar Operators Association (NADBOA).

Others are the Ghana Association of Barbers & Barbering Salon Owners (GABSO), National Refrigerators and Air-condition Workshop Owners Association (NRAWOA), Market Traders Association (MTA), Ghana Bar Operators Association (GHABOR), Ghana Traditional Caterers Association (GTCA) and Indigenous Caterers Association of Ghana (ICAG).

The rest are the National Co-operative Butchers Association (NCBA), the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG), and the Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians Association (GHABA).

Export programme

Mr Mahama said the next NDC government would set up an accelerated export programme that would be chaired by the President.

That government would also roll out more impactful programmes to improve on the living standards of the people.

The former President said before he left office, the NDC had set up the Ghana Exim Bank to provide assistance to small and medium enterprises to boost production.

He said that the intention of the government was also to increase the processing of cocoa beans from the current 30 to 40 per cent to more than 50 per cent to generate additional employment for young people.

On infrastructure, the former President said investment in the sector would also be a priority, “we intend to continue to invest in infrastructure, especially abandoned projects".

State of economy

Mr Mahama expressed concern over what he said was the way the economy had been run down by the current government which, he said, had made citizens suffer untold hardships.  

The former President said when the government was over-borrowing and red flags were raised, it refused to listen.

“Since 2019, we could tell that this government was over-borrowing and using the money for consumption rather than for infrastructure and production.

We kept raising the red flags, but unfortunately, this is where we have found ourselves,” he said.

Mr Mahama, therefore, said that the first task of an NDC government would be to stabilise the economy to ensure businesses thrived.

He said it was in line with that the party came out with the 24-hour economy policy which he said a committee was working on.

"It is something that we believe can generate more employment.

It is not new, it is not my idea, it was in our 40-year development plan that we presented to the nation several years ago. 

“Again in 2020, it was contained on page 105 of our manifesto and it is something we intend to implement when given the mandate," Mr Mahama said.

24-hour economy

The Chief Executive Officer of the Gamey and Gamey Group, Austin Gamey, said a 24-hour economy would create elevated cities across the country as a pulsating glamorous place where activities would always be happening on the streets, movement of people at night and maximum use of apartments, among others.

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