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Free water: Political considerations won against economic concerns – Lord Mensah

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo SONA President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Thu, 18 Mar 2021 Source: 3news.com

The government took a political decision with the introduction of the free utility package for the poor and needy following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Lord Mensah said.

He said he wasn’t in support of the package when the President first announced it.

Dr Mensah has therefore told the government to halt providing freebies to Ghanaians in spite of the effect of the coronavirus on the lives of the people.

He explained that since the country is no longer under lockdown, a situation that has allowed the people to go about their normal daily activities, they should be made to pay for every service rendered to them.

In the 21st address to the nation President Akufo-Addo said, “With the continuing difficulties occasioned by the pandemic, I want to state that government intends to continue to support the most vulnerable in our society.

“Government will, thus, continue to pay the electricity bills for our nation’s one million active lifeline customers for the next three months, i.e. January, February and March.

“Additionally, all one million, five hundred thousand customers of the Ghana Water Company, whose consumption is not more than five cubic metres a month, will not pay any bills for the next three months, i.e. for the months of January, February and March.”

The package will be reviewed at the end of March, the President added.

But speaking in an interview with TV3’s Johnnie Hughes on the New Day programme Thursday, March 18, Dr Mensah asked the government not to continue the programme

“This means we have enough money or we have enough buffer to contain the necessary freebies that are coming up at the cost to the state. For me, I will say at this time we have to stop the freebies.

“I was not even in favour of any freebies when even at the heat of the COVID. But then we had no choice and we had to provide them because it had two forces.

“We had economic force and political force and I think the political force superseded the economic force and that is why we were enjoying the freebies at the point where we even had to stop it.”

He added “I was thinking they would have stopped it somewhere in last year September at the time when the lockdown had been ended and then we were still moving about doing few things for ourselves. But then we continued to December and that is where the political aspect comes in. So effectively I will say yes we shouldn’t have gone on further with the freebies at this time, we should stop it.”

Source: 3news.com
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