Call Urgent Stakeholder Meeting On Economy Or Else…- Ato Forson Warns Gov’t

A former Deputy Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, has warned that unless the government commits itself to find solutions to current economic challenges at a stakeholders’ forum, dire times will persist.

The MP, who is also a member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, is hoping that the government would invite expertise and advice from others outside the executive arm of government just as happened at the Senchi Forum during the era of President John Mahama.

The Senchi Forum in 2014 was advertised by the Mahama administration as “building a national consensus for economic and social transformation”. It was attended by labour unions, academics, activists, political parties, businesspeople among others, at the height of monetary and economic challenges.

But the Senchi Forum was also boycotted by the then leading opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The party at the time believed the economic forum was artificial, alleging a lack of political will on the part of the Mahama administration to do what was right for the Ghanaian people.

Forson spoke to a local radio station Thursday evening about the state of the Ghanaian economy following President Nana Akufo-Addo’s speech at the party’s 29th-anniversary celebrations.

“I think it is refreshing for the President to finally admit the current state of the Ghanaian economy. Before you get out of a ditch, you first need to admit that you indeed are in a ditch. This admission from the President is a sign of acceptance of the difficulty we are in,” Forson told Citi FM.

The president had remarked in a speech celebrating the NPP that his government was eager to find ways to mitigate the crisis brought upon the economy by the COVDI-19 pandemic.

President Akufo-Addo had said the challenges of the pandemic present an “opportunity to grow stronger and stronger”.

However, the MP believed this opportunity could also best be harnessed by widening the stakeholder consultation for other Ghanaians to contribute to the recovery of the economy.

“[What] he should do is to lead a political process to fix the problem we have. Something like a Senchi-consensus should be held. He needs to get all political actors to come in and help address the problem,” Forson advised.

The difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has been highlighted multiple times by the government with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, at times, struggling to allay fears among the population.

Meanwhile, the government says it has spent GH¢ 8.1 million to preserve livelihoods under the stabilization phase of the GH¢ 100 billion GhanaCares (Obaatan pa) programme.

Under this phase, more than 200 vulnerable families and households were provided with foodstuffs, free water and electricity.

GhanaCares is an audacious GH¢ 100 billion post-COVID programme to stabilize, revitalize and transform Ghana’s economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period.

Charles Adu-Boahen, Minister of State, Finance said this at the Advantage Knowledge Forum on the theme: “Building Business Agility and Growth for AfCFTA and the Post COVID-19 Era.”

The Forum was organized by Enterprise Insurance in partnership with the Greater Accra Region Chapter Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).

 

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