18
Opinions Sat, 28 Sep 2013

Mahama: Ghana’s economy strong and sturdy". Really?

Its been hard for me to follow the news media lately because somehow they always manage to get me either angry, sad, frustrated and/or confused. I can't bear to hear all the misinformation that the government machinery tends to put across to Ghanians and the world.

The Ghana Cedi has depreciated by 14.40% since September 2012 to date. They just announced electricity tariff increases of 78.9%, and water by 52%.Prices of goods and services have increased astronomically and yet the Ghana statistical services tells us that the inflation rate as at the end of August 2013 was 11.5%. Meanwhile, Mahama is telling the world that Ghana's economy is strong and sturdy. Really?

Rent in Ghana is unbelievable. A three bedroom apartment at supposedly high end residential areas (eg East Legon, or Airport Residential Area) will set you back about $3,500.00 a month. And oh, if you think you would be paying your rent on a monthly basis, think again. In Ghana rent is paid in 12 or 24 months advance. If you can't afford to live at East Legon or Airport, you can try Dansoman (DC)or Achimota. A three bedroom house at Achimota will cost you about $400.00 dollars. And you would be required to pay the same rent advance of 12 or 24 months. Yet Mahama is telling the world that Ghana's economy is strong and sturdy. Really?

District assemblies are hard pressed for money to carry out development activities. Since the beginning of 2013, the government has not sent a pesewa to the district assemblies. It is disheartening to note that, the District Assemblies in Ghana are not self sustaining and a large number of the 216 district assemblies in Ghana (I hope I got the number right. The government seems to be adding to the number, each time there are presidential/parliamentary elections) solely depend on the statutory handouts from the government. The road in parts of Accra and Kumasi are in such a horrible state that your car begins to "cry" when one drives on them. The roads that leads out of Accra to places like Asamankese, Kade, Suhum and other notable district capitalsare just horrific. Agricultural food from the farming areas are locked up and do not get access to market in Accra/Kumasi becuase no right thinking car owner will dare drive his car on such a road. Yet Mahama is telling the world that Ghana's economy is strong and sturdy. Really?

I can go on about the corruption, the poor leadership, etc etc. But I am getting frustrated just thinking about the mess our economy is in right now. So I will stop here. If I feel less frustratedat a later time, I may return to continue were I left off.

So these days when people ask me how I am doing, my regular response has been "Things can't get any better....aside the increase in water, electricity, gas, introduction of new road tolls, occasional power cuts, water cuts, bad roads, and Mahama telling Columbia University that Ghana's economy is better than ever...life surely can't be better".

Yet Mahama is telling the world that Ghana's economy is strong and sturdy.

Really? Really? Really?

Kwame Boateng kwameboatengcd@yahoo.com
Columnist: Boateng, Kwame