Finance Minister’s address on the economy must be simple; without any confusing terminologies – Prof. Gyampo

A Political Scientist at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo has urged the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to use simple and plain language in his upcoming address on measures taken by government to mitigate the current economic challenges.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the political science lecturer indicated that he is happy about the decision of government to consider some austerity measures which he had earlier suggested.

According to him, even though the consideration of the measures may be coincidental to his suggestions, he is ready to scrutinise the measures which will be articulated by the Finance Minister on Thursday, March 24.

He, therefore, urged the Finance Minister to be clear in his address and deliver his speech without any ambiguities. Professor Gyampo said this will enable every Ghanaians to understand the plans of government and show the necessary support to make the intentions of government fruitful.

“There can be no meaningful navigation through these hard times without the support of the people. I therefore expect the announcement of some delicate-balanced interventions that show massive sacrifices at the top, provide some reliefs for the already burdened Ghanaian, and at the same time, appeal to all of us to tighten our belts.

Let’s see how this press briefing smartly whips up public understanding, sympathy and support.

It must be done in plain and simple language for ordinary people to understand. The confusing terminologies that are typically deployed by demagogues to talk their ways out, without communicating, must be toned down.

Everything must be broken down into simple language for all to appreciate what is there and what can be done”, Professor Gyampo wrote.

He also reiterated the point that governments are elected to address the pertinent issues that affect citizens; adding that “in times like this, they cannot do so without the support of the citizenry. This is not Economics and Finance. It is Political Science and also Political Sense”.

On Tuesday, March 22, President Akufo-Addo announced that, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, will address the nation on Thursday, March 24, on measures instituted by government to resolve the current economic challenges in the country.

He made this revelation, during an interaction with members of the Council of State at the Jubilee House.

According to the President, the Finance Minister’s address will highlight the outcome of deliberations that took place during cabinet’s weekend retreat.

The crunch meeting discussed the current fiscal hurdles in the country and how to resolve them. President Akufo-Addo said the measures to be announced will go a long way to calm public anxiety regarding the country’s economic fortunes.

“Our retreat which you referred to is in some way quite timely, because as a general rule, we have retreats each year on a quarterly basis, and this is the first one for this year. Fortunately for us, it coincided with these difficulties, and the public anxiety about the way that the economy was going. It gave us therefore the opportunity to look in-depth at where the economy was headed, and what measures were necessary to be taken.

Some parts have apparently gone before the country, but the decision was that the Minister for Finance, on my instructions, is going to have a major engagement with the nation on Thursday, where he is going to be in a position to lay out specifically, the measures we’ve taken and we intend to take, to correct, as it were, put the ship of state, steep on a better keel”, President Akufo-Addo stated.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s current public debt stock stands at a staggering GH¢341.8 billion with a corresponding debt to GDP ratio of more than 77% as of September ending 2021.

This means if the country should share this amount across the country’s 30.8 million population, everyone will owe approximately GH¢11,000.

In terms of interest payments on borrowings, Ghana has spent on average, 147 billion Ghana cedis, which is 47 billion Ghana cedis more than the projected revenue plus grants for 2022.

In the first quarter of 2022, government has indicated that it will borrow a total of GH¢24.5 billion from the domestic market of which GH¢20.7 billion will be used to service existing debt in the local market, leaving government with just GH¢3.8 billion to finance other expenses.

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