General News of Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, a business consultant and politician, has rejected popularly held perception that the Bank of Ghana and by extension the Central Government, should be blamed for the woes of the local currency, the cedi.
The cedi has over the years been performing poorly against foreign currencies. It is currently trading at about 3 cedis to a dollar.
The Bank of Ghana in February instituted what many have described as draconian measures to stabilize the free fall of the cedi and to also cure the dollarization of the national economy.
At the recently held National Economic Forum, participants, as part of their recommendations termed the Senchi Consensus, charged Bank of Ghana to take speedy and appropriate actions to restore confidence in the cedi and to lessen the unintended consequences the earlier measures have had on the economy.
But Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom told host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Kojo Yankson, on Wednesday the “Bank of Ghana is not the problem”.
As a show of solidarity with the Central Bank’s measures, he said the current problem should squarely be blamed on people’s taste for foreign goods.
The currency will “differently go bad” if Ghanaians fail to patronize made in Ghana products, he asserted.
Dr. Nduom who spoke on a wide range of issues, also challenged the government to encourage and support local industries to produce more for the local market and export. But first, Ghanaians must consume what is produced here, he emphasized.
The State's purchasing power must be wielded positively in support of Ghanaian industries so that they can also create jobs for the citizenry, he added.
Assessing the economy under the Mahama-led administration, he remarked that the economy is doing poorly.
“It is not a pass mark; it is just doing poorly,” the former Minister of Planning and Regional Integration marked President Mahama.
Papa Kwesi Nduom has therefore asked President Mahama, on whose shoulders the economy of the country sits, to take charge of things and with the trust and power vested in him, turn things around.
Scoring the president on corruption, he said his fight against the canker has poorly been executed. In his books, Mahama earned 2 out of 10 on corruption.
He saw corruption as a serious problem bedeviling the development of the nation and faulted Mahama’s indecision in fighting the canker.
He wants President Mahama to take the front role in the condemnation of corrupt acts under his administration and not assign his spokespersons to speak to the rot in society.
President John Mahama must not only speak, but should also act on corrupt issues, he suggested.
He said it is time President Mahama takes a bold step and separates the office of the Attorney General from the Minister of Justice, which is a purely political office. According to him, this would give the Attorney General the courage to prosecute public officials cited for corruption.
In his view, corruption has eaten deep into the society and must be attacked from its root, and therefore, called on the president to move quickly on it.
Currently, the country loses over one billion dollars annually to corruption, the amount could have been channeled into development projects, he noted.
He made a clarion call on all to join the crusade against corruption, prophesying Ghana is going to experience wonderful things if the country is able to deal with corruption.
Papa Kwesi Nduom said Mahama is inching below five on his score card when it comes to leadership. But was confident the president has what it takes to clock 8 by the end of his tenure if he really wants to.