Cedi appreciation must reflect in the prices of goods – Gyampo

Prof Ransford Gyampo.png Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo

Tue, 13 Dec 2022 Source: classfmonline.com

A Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has said the only way government can show its true commitment to governing to help the poor, is to ensure that the current appreciation of the Cedi against the dollar, reflects on the prices of goods and services across the country.

Professor Gyampo’s comments follow the sudden appreciation of the Ghana Cedi against the US Dollar.

The Cedi as of Tuesday, December 13, 2022, is trading at 12.50ps against the USD.

In a Facebook post, the political science lecturer said a simple way for government to ensure that the appreciation of the Cedi against the US Dollar, impacts on the prices of goods and services, “is for the government to abandon its ingrained idea of eliciting public sacrifices while it reigns in profligacy and opulence.”

He noted that: “In the midst of our economic crisis, our currency is suddenly gaining some strength against the dollar and Bloomberg has offered some good rating of the cedi. Petrol prices are reducing, though still very high.

“If the above marginal gains are a result of deliberate government policy, then we must be honest in cautiously commending the government. But if these gains are purely accidental, then they aren’t worth celebrating as they cannot be sustained.”

The political science lecturer stressed that: “Marginal gains of the cedi and reduction in fuel prices without corresponding control of prices of goods and services, is inconsequential for the quest to lighten the burdens imposed on the ordinary people by the current economic hardships.

“We cannot continue on the tangent of arbitrariness in terms of pricing of the goods and services sold on the market.”

He indicated that government, “per its intransigence and unwillingness to sacrifice, has been very deficient in whipping up nationalism and patriotism among the citizenry to assist in sailing ourselves out of our crisis.

“If government will demonstrate selflessness and visible sacrifice, it can easily appeal to the conscience of traders to be patriotic in fixing their prices, and for all other Ghanaians including labour, to sacrifice too.”

According to the Political Science lecturer, “You cannot appeal to the poor to understand the times when you do not do things that show you understand the times. You cannot exact your pound of flesh from the state and expect all Ghanaians including labour and traders not to do same.

“You cannot invest your funds in offshore foreign banks and attempt to forcibly dip your hands into the local investment of poor patriotic people and expect them to agree because of their love for the nation.”

He, therefore, suggested, “to demonstrate sacrifice and patriotism, let the government reduce its size and let it not go beyond the 19 Cabinet Ministers. Let the plan to increase the size of government machinery in an era of public sector recruitment freeze, be considered outmoded at birth.

“Let the government inflict other austerity measures on itself and its appointees to show that we are in difficult times and let’s see whether the needed cooperation and sacrifice from the citizenry wouldn’t be elicited.”

He added: “Government must be cautiously commended for the marginal gains of the cedi to the dollar and also for the small reduction in the still very high prices of fuel. There certainly should be other well thought through interventions that would help us improve the marginal gains.

“If the government would eschew its failed winner-knows-all practice and reach out in broader consultations with academia, civil society and others across the political divide, the inclusivity alone would tone down the public anger, criticism and cynicism. It would also be able to access credible inputs and contributions that would help in providing some solutions.”

Source: classfmonline.com
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