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Opinions of Saturday, 6 February 2016

Columnist: Abass Basawutey

Kufuor’s gov’t messed up Ghana’s economics with redenomination

I keep saying that those complaining that cost of living in Ghana is high are the very people who made it high with their actions and inactions. Let's go back to 2007 when we redenominated the cedis.

A gallon of petrol was selling for 6,000 cedis before the redenomination should have been sold for 60 pesewas after that but it stood as 6 cedis representing a 1,000,000% increase in prices. A sachet water was sold at 20 cedis hence should have been sold for 2 pesewas after the redenomination, but it stood at 5 pesewas.

In short, what 1000 cedis could buy before the cancellation of four zeros in the name of redenomination, 10 pesewas could not buy after the redenomination and the massive devaluation of our cedis since then. Despite all these increases in prices and devaluation of the cedis, there was not even a 1% increase in the salaries of workers back then.

A member of organized labour who was receiving 2 million cedis before redenomination was still receiving 200 cedis after the exercise and TUC and organized labour who are telling us that they r so concerned about the welfare of the Ghanaian worker today remained silent as though they did not exist back then.

Now who are those complaining most high cost of living in Ghana today??? Nana Addo, Bawumia and the NPP who undertook that exercise are today telling us that cost of living is hard in Ghana today forgetting the fact that the late President Mills and the NDC government had to implement the Single Spine Salary Structure to close the gap between the abnormal increase in prices after the redenomination and the stagnant salary of the worker.

The average teacher who was receiving 300 cedis back then is taking home about 800 cedis today, and this shows government's quest to clear the mess created by that worthless exercise undertaken by the NPP government with Bawumia acting as the deputy governor of the BOG.

Another group crying about high cost of living today which I will like to address is the TUC and Organized Labour. They did not care about the stagnant salaries of their members despite the abnormal increase in prices of goods and services after the redenomination but today they demonstrate over the introduction of taxes and have suddenly found their economics book which got missing when this great harm was being done to Ghana back in 2007. AGI and traders as a whole were all mute about all this, but we are complaining about the long term effect of what we all kept mute about back then today.

Lastly, I will plead with all well-meaning Ghanaians to join hands so we help this government clear the mess created by the redenomination exercise and leave those who created the mess but love to complain about the mess they created more than those who are doing everything to clear the mess to continue living in their world of fantasies.

We are building Ghana brick by brick, and the hands of all progressives are needed on board because no accumulated messed caused over a long period of actions n inactions is cleared with time and not a go.

God bless our homeland Ghana.