Politics of Saturday, 26 July 2014
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has expressed concern about the ever-worsening state of the economy and the great sacrifices which the workers are making daily against all odds to stabilise the national labour front and protect the national economy from total collapse.
In a statement, it said as historical allies of the workers’ movement, the CPP would always remain steadfast in standing in solidarity with workers in their legitimate struggle and demand for economic and social justice for all Ghanaians.
The statement, signed by its national Chairperson and leader, Ms Samia Yaba Nkrumah, therefore, supported the worker's right to demonstrate and protest to express their frustrations at the direction and state of the economy.
According to the CPP, one of the main reasons for the present economic predicament was the “absence of a programme of self-help and self-reliance as began by the CPP, led by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, decades ago in order to stop us from being the providers of raw material and importers of expensive manufactured goods.
“The CPP’s mission in Ghana is to re-activate our agenda for freedom by continuing the work of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana and Africa. Our objective is to realise complete social, economic, political and cultural emancipation,” it stated.
That, the CPP explained, meant reviving the hundreds of manufacturing plants, including TOR which had been neglected by governments over the years, planning for our development, putting the Ghanaian at the commanding heights of the economy, delivering basic needs, including quality, compulsory and free education linked to industry and re-awakening our consciousness towards our ability as Africans to manage our own affairs with fairness and compassion for all.
“We support the Trades Union Congress’s (TUC’s) call for our economy to be managed differently so as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every Ghanaian. Our manufacturing and agricultural sectors are suffering as a result of accelerated trade liberalisation,” the CPP stated.
It said opting for austerity measures had led to higher utility tariffs and hikes in the prices of petroleum products, consequently causing a serious drop in the quality of life of the workers and people of Ghana.
Like the TUC, the CPP believed the current trend of the economy was suffocating businesses, worsening the unemployment situation, leading to the loss of more jobs and was responsible for the price hikes and economic hardship.
It further pointed out that Ghana’s current economic growth strategy of targeting inflation and fiscal austerity was stifling growth and deepening the economic dependence.
“Our economy cannot continue to mainly serve as a market for the manufactured goods of others while consolidating an economic and financial dependency that inflicts hardship on our people. Over-dependence on imports is largely the cause of our trade deficit and rising unemployment rate,” the CPP said.
For years, the CPP indicated that “ we have as a country always imported more than we export and this has led to persistent balance of trade deficit. This has put unbearable pressure on the value of our currency and exchange rate. We then borrow from the international financial markets to largely support a national budget that is more concerned with consumption rather than for productive ventures. This is a situation which is draining us and is unsustainable.
“Today, the CPP is saying that we need the most committed, loyal and dedicated citizens to overturn decades of dependency, mismanagement and a visionless approach to development.
“It is a principled Nkrumaist position to reject all polices that compromise our sovereignty as a nation and deny us a self-reliant process of development.”
Let us rededicate ourselves to the mission we inherited from our founding fathers and mothers to complete the unfinished business of re-activating our sense of self-determination, self-reliance and self-mobilisation to transform our society, sustain our economy and ensure justice and fair opportunities for all Ghanaians,” it added.
The CPP concluded by saluting the TUC and workers nationwide for showing courage and leadership in these challenging times, saying that “the great toil and labour of our workers continue to sustain the nation in the struggle to attain social security and economic independence for all Ghanaians.”