The Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), says, “Ghana is not broke”.
According to him, using words such as “broke” to describe the state of the economy only goes a long way to negatively dent the image of the country before the international community and that has serious consequences on the country’s outlook.
Speaking in an interview with Citi News, the Head of University of Ghana’s Economics Department, Prof. Quartey, noted with concern that if the economy of the country is indeed broke as being speculated mostly by politicians, citizens must be seen queuing to buy some basic commodities like fuel.
“Any economy that is broke should not be able to pay salaries and wages. Any economy that is broke should not be able to pay for its imports and should not be able to service its debts”.
“Have we ever heard in the past couple of years that the government has not been able to service its debts?” he asked.
He added that the government is indeed facing challenges, but the economy cannot be said to be broken.
Reacting to predictions made by Parliament’s Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, declaring the year 2022 as “economic misery” for Ghanaians, Prof. Quartey agreed that, the exchange rate may be between GHS 6.5 to GHS 7:00 to a dollar by end of the year, but was quick to add that, “that depends on how the government manages affairs of the economy”.
On fuel prices, Prof. Quartey noted that that has never been under the control of the government, but largely dependent on whatever happens on the global market as a covid new variant; Omicron ravages.
He believes the government would have to borrow but under very careful considerations because the debt to GDP ratio has exceeded 65%.
Dr. Ato Forson predicted that citizens must brace themselves for a 30% price increase in general goods. He further added that the cedi will end the year at GHS 7:00 to a dollar, while fuel prices are expected to go up.
This was sharply debunked by Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah in a Facebook post. He demanded the Ranking Member to substantiate his claims with data and stop being propagandist.