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Political parties proffer sustainable economic stability measures

BY: Victor Kwawukume
library photos
library photos

Poor economic fortunes have often been blamed for coup d'tats that set aside the constitution and replaced by rule by decrees.

This is why Ghana's economic fundamentals must be strong at all times.

But in the recent past, about three decades now, the economy has been going through a 10-year cycle of ups and downs such that within 10 years, the country moves from instability and downturns to stability and a form of growth, which collapses almost after three years.

However, the fact remains unchallenged that Ghana has had a stable political environment since 1992. The democracy has been tried and tested and has proven resilient.

The dominant view is that it is time to do the same for the economy of Ghana.

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How can this be achieved?

Three political parties — the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP) and the National Democratic Party (NDP) — have concurred that the surest means of building a sustainably stable economy is to place higher premium on the production sector of the economy.

According to the three parties, the key factor for sustainability was in achieving self-sufficiency which could only come from giving the requisite attention to the agricultural sector of the economy.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic on measures that could be adopted to build a sustainable stable economy, the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC in charge of Operations, Mr Peter Boamah Otokunor, said essentially, the issue of economic hardship was a frontal concern for citizens and that the current dispensation was no exception.

 Mr Peter Boamah Otokunor — NDC

“Things are hard, the financial sector is struggling and obviously, people will want to respond to that in so many forms,” he said.

He added that there were three forms through which Ghanaians could respond to the hardship which were being reclusive, getting adapted to the economic crisis or voting out the regime responsible for their hardship.

He explained that with time, when people realise that the government could not offer them a better life, they would adopt any of his stated three approaches to managing the economic hardship.

“They would either be looking into themselves and become more self-centred and try to survive on their own or they get adapted to the situation and in so doing, there could be so many coping mechanisms such as resorting to operating black markets, and other avenues that may not be complimentary, or ultimately voting out the government in power,” he stated.

But what could be done as a nation, he said, was to give primary focus to the productive sectors of the economy.

“Let’s grow what we eat, wear and drink. Then we would be self-sufficient in terms of our resources but above all, when we have done all these and we do not put together better managers of the economy, then we would have done that in vain, because bad management would only derail the progress of the economy,” he stressed.

Achieving stability

The General Secretary of the NDP, Mr Mohammed Frimpong, stated that the fundamental and key approach to achieving a sustainably stable economy was productivity which did not come by just any mere arrangement but by measures that made the individual satisfied with his/her status.

 Mr Mohammed Frimpong — NDP

According to him, the national cake must be seen to be fairly distributed by making sure that the country’s active and productive sectors were well compensated for.

“We should be able to process our raw materials and add value to them in such a way that we avoid glut and wastage of farm produce.

We should find an innovative means of managing glut such that the farmer, who has invested time, money and resources, is not left at the leaner side of the bargain,” he explained.

In addition, Mr Frimpong was of the view that there ought to be much coordinated effort on the part of government in ensuring that productive entities were well managed and had a fair share of the national wealth in terms of compensation and rewards.

“When we do that, then we would get people in all sectors being paid properly and there would not be the need for people to change jobs from sector to another because one sector rewards better than another,” he stressed.

He was strong on the view that leadership must lead in ensuring that there was a stable economy but that would not be achieved on a silver platter but based on proper planning and management in making sure that resource distribution, attraction and retention, was done carefully.

Dependency syndrome

The First Vice Chairman of the GCPP, Mr John Amekah, said all the governments that had ruled the country since the advent of the Fourth

Republic had not succeeded in creating a stable and sustainable economy that had eradicated poverty because of the dependency syndrome.
As a country, he said, Ghana had failed to add value to its own produce and so had been unable to make the needed impact on the world market.

 Mr John Amekah — GCPP

“It is unfortunate that we are unable to determine the price of our produce but rather the buyers determine how much they want to buy what our hardworking farmers have toiled to produce so we are always at a loss, in that, we spend so much to produce yet we sell at unrealistic prices that make the efforts of our farmers almost useless,” he lamented.

He was, therefore, of the view that there must be a total mobilisation of the people to feed themselves by undertaking an agriculture revolution that would make everyone to grow what they eat and export the surplus.

That, he said, would only be done through a determined effort of the government because if that was not done, “we would be importing at a higher price and be exporting at a cheaper price and that will not make the economy sustainable and stable.”

Best farmers

Mr Amekah continued that since the launch of Farmers Day, the country had produced a number of best farmers but they were not being put to good use.

According to him, majority of those best farmers were still around, while their talents and capacities remained largely untapped.

“We need to bring them on board so that they will be producing and the government would buy directly from them and distribute to industry,” he suggested.

The alternative, he said, was that the government could put a buying entity in place to be buying directly from the farmers and distribute to industry, and for consumption and export.

“That way, we would be consciously working at building a stable economy,” he maintained.

Mr Amekah said Ghanaians were currently witnesses to the achievement that was being trumpeted by the government that there was abundance of food and the excess was being exported to other countries but people were still hungry because they were unable to afford the cost of food.

“The size of a ball of kenkey has not increased in spite of abundance of produce from the farms. But as the case is now, a lot of people are unable to afford food and the food is going waste because we have failed to put the right mechanisms in place,” Mr Amekah said.