The Ghana Employers Association (GEA) has implored the government to, as a matter of urgency, stabilise the depreciation of the Ghanaian currency which is fast eroding their capital and threatening the growth of their businesses.
The GEA has also urged the government to re-prioritise the country’s import needs and step up efforts at ensuring that demands for US dollars to those sectors are met.
The Association said the rapid depreciation of the Ghanaian Cedi, together with the supply shortfalls had largely been responsible for the unprecedented high inflation rate, which is 32.7% as of September this year.
In a meeting at the behest of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Wednesday, the president of GEA, Daniel Acheampong, said the association acknowledged that Ghana’s economic crisis had not been occasioned by the government but global events such as COVID-19 and the Russia- Ukraine war as the main causes of the crisis.
“We are feeling the pinch but we know that working together, we should be able to find our way from the menace,” he told the President.
Mr Acheampong said it was imperative that the government also dealt with the frequent fuel price hikes which inevitably drive virtually the prices of everything in the country and impacted negatively on the Cedi and rising inflation.
For quite some time, Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) have been struggling to get enough and affordable foreign exchange rates to procure petroleum products, a situation which has led to frequent hikes in the products.
In an attempt by the government to resolve the struggle of the BDCs in getting US dollars, the Bank of Ghana earlier this year, introduced a foreign exchange forward auction programme as an intervention to deal with the problem.
However, despite the modest success of the programme, the quantum of the US dollars supplied by the Bank of Ghana to the BDCs had not been much as it keeps dropping at an alarming rate.
The GEA president said it made practical sense that the government prioritise the importation of petroleum products by adequately supplying the BDCs with enough and affordable exchange rates to procure the products to reduce the frequent fuel price hikes which affected everything in the country.
Mr Acheampong expressed hope and assured President Akufo-Addo that the GEA would be able to work with the government to get the country out of the situation.
In his response to the problems of the Ghana Employers Association, President Akufo-Addo expressed appreciation for the solidarity of the Association in backing the government to confront the country’s economic challenges head-on.
“There is a great synergy here of the intellectual and the policy prescription that…give us what, why things are happening and what we need to do resolve them,” he told the leadership of GEA.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the call for the stabilisation of the Cedi and the subsequent measures professed by the GEA were all matters that the government was already very committed to realising.
He said working with an association such as the GEA to develop and strengthen the country’s economy was at the heart of the government.
The President was encouraged by the fact that both the government and the GEA were on the same platform as to the problems of the economy and the prescriptions to confront and deal with the problems.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD