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Opinions of Friday, 19 June 2015

Columnist: Dabbousi, Fadi

A fraudulent economy – Killing dreams and breaking promises

The conundrums of the present day lies and deceptions can only take the government of the NDC so far; not a long distance to safeguard any shred of credibility that they, doubtfully, have, if you asked me.

Almost like scheduled time-bombs going off in the face of the nation, the regular hikes in the cost of fuel when the price of crude oil remains at its lowest for over a year on the international market, smacks of flagrant theft and corruption.

That notwithstanding, the continuous free-fall of the Cedi against major currencies, especially the US Dollar, only adds to the woes of struggling businesses that have no option but to lay off their employees, much to the chagrin of dependent families.

The cost of food items is soaring for many factors including, primarily, corruption at CEPS, where traders are charged haphazardly without any sense of empathy for the Ghanaian end-consumer, as well as continuous inflation.

Items procured from a source abroad arrive and suffer a battering in the form of exorbitant duty, West-Africa levies, surcharges and, finally, VAT.

Then just prior to the release of the goods, they are vandalised by customs officers and a harassing Presidential task force that MUST have a share in cash or kind.

Eventually, an item sourced for $1 (US Dollar) arrives at a final cost of about $2.50 (US Dollars). Then 25% is added to the overall cost bringing the warehouse cost to $3.13. That price, again, goes up by another 25% to bring the final price to $3.19 (US Dollars), say $4.00 (US Dollars) that the end consumer, you and I, pay.

That item would have cost GHs4.80 (Ghana cedis), when the USD was equivalent to GHs1.2 at the time President Kufour handed over Power to the corrupt NDC government. Today, for this same item, we would have to pay GHs18 now that the currency has depreciated so abysmally.

Salaries have remained the same, albeit unpaid in many cases for months on end, so how does John Mahama and his NDC led thieves expect Ghanaians to survive. When a salary of GHs250 was the equivalent of $200 USD, today the same salary is approximately $45 USD.

Importers are going bankrupt and those that are barely surviving cannot maintain their staff, hence the skyrocketing rate of unemployment. All that and Mr President John Mahama continues to echo a “better Ghana agenda” and “yentie obiaa”. I beg your pardon!

Large supermarkets cannot sustain this injustice, maintaining their workforce under such harsh economic conditions, so do not blame them for the high prices of items on their shelves. This is a state of affairs that is beyond their control.

Apparently, these businesses are losing customers not by their own doing but rather by the suffocating grip of inefficient governance and fiscal policies.

With the onset of the Holy month of Ramadhan, my brothers and sisters, it would seem that this year, too, we have to be on an uncontrollable diet in the face of stringent monetary constraints.