Monday, 12 February 2018

Akufo-Addo cautioned to stop blame game

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Adnan Adams Mohammed

A renowed economist and research analyst has sent a strongly-worded caution to President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government to stop faulting its predecessors for the economic woes of the country.

This caution, adds to a number of similar cautions made to the government by prominent figures in the country.

As they normally say “A government is put in place to solve problems and not to whine.” 

According to Dr. Saeed Boakye, a Senior Research Analyst with the Institute of Fiscal Studies, such blames games do not improve the outlook of the state and efforts to stabilize the economy.

He sent the caution ahead of the President’s second State of The National Address delivery in Parliament, last week.

Meanwhile, some policy and political analysts had predicted that, the address was going to be dominated by the government’s efforts on the economic and security front of the country over the last one year.  Job creation and measures in reducing youth unemployment were also among key expectation of Ghanaians as the Food and Agriculture Minister’s claim that over 745,000 jobs have been created through the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs project have been greeted with doubt.

Dr. Boakye, speaking on a radio interview last week, said, the Ghanaian economy is yet to stabilize despite positive efforts by the government.

“With regards to stability the economy has improved. The rate of the GDP growth was low but it has improved. The economy is not so strong…we are trying to stabilize it. Governments should stop blaming previous governments for the state of the economy. I don’t like the blame games. In banking, politicians blame and take credit for things happening. I don’t see why politicians blame other politicians for what happens in banking”.

Dr. Boakye also noted that Ghanaians do not appear to feel the impact of oil in the economy because the benefit goes to foreigners.

“About 70% of the oil revenue goes to foreigners and as a result the revenue doesn’t reflect in the pockets of the ordinary Ghanaian”.

 There were mixed reactions from Ghanaians after the delivery of the State of the Nation Address.

The former vice president, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur described the address as “low in content.”

He said, the president speaks well but the content in his presentation was not encouraging.

Amissah-Arthur was among high profile dignitaries including ex-presidents John Rawlings, John Kufuor, John Mahama as well as top diplomats who were present listening with rapt attention at the gallery of Parliament.

The former vice president was particularly unhappy with the growing insecurity in the country with the conduct of some NPP vigilante groups and berated the president for not speaking about it.

“He speaks very well but the content was little. The worry of most people is the insecurity. I thought that he was going to empower the law enforcement agencies to deal with political partisan groups who are creating uncertainties and fear in people,” he lamented.

When he was reminded of the president’s promise to retool the police in order for them to crack down on criminals, he said: “retooling is not empowering the police against political violence.”