Chief of Staff (CoS) Frema Osei-Opare has called on the public to be measured in their expectations of government, as the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the global economy has affected the country’s socio-economic growth.
According to her, government has a done a lot in managing effects of the pandemic on the economy, and more will be done to ensure that citizens are not hard-pressed by the difficult times the country is facing. The economist and former banker has also asked workers to be measured in their expectations of their employers, as the economic challenges have led to a tightening of operational expenses.
Speaking at the second annual Information Service Department (ISD)/ State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) Public Relations Officers (PROs) summit, Ms. Osei-Opare who was the guest of honour said: “I want to take this opportunity to appeal to the public that our expectations in a COVID-19 environment should be very measured.
“Expectations from staff’s point of view on their organisations, and from the public point of view on the state, must be measured. You only have to turn on the TV, for those who are always online, you see the devastation that COVID-19 has brought to giant countries.
“Countries which have not had many challenges, you see that this COVID-19 has impacted them. We are part of a global community; therefore, we are not insulated. Ghana has done very well in the way we have managed the situation and the way we have managed to support ourselves as citizens from all levels. Therefore, let us all rally together – recognising the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and what we can do to build Ghana together.”
Her comment also come on the back of a raging social media campaign dubbed #FixTheCountry, which has seen some agitated citizens, especially the youth, dissatisfied with socio-economic conditions in the country making clear their frustrations and intentions to embark on demonstrations to demand accountability.
Finance Minister on #FixTheCountry
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, in a press conference last Sunday said government will over the coming weeks introduce some measures to ease the burden on the public. “Starting this month, we are rolling out over eight additional interventions under the GhanaCARES ‘Obataanpa’ programme: and they will be in health, agriculture, tourism, trade, digitisation, science and technology, housing and financial services,” he said.
The minister added that government has taken a critical look at the social media campaign and is determined to address the issues raised by the youth.
“Over the past few weeks, I have been following the healthy conversation that started following the #FixTheCountry; a social media campaign primarily initiated by the youth. I have met the representatives of the conveners to understand and explore collective solutions regarding what the conveners describe as ‘a failure on the part of successive governments to improve the lives of the citizenry’.
“I acknowledge that these are challenging times for many of us, and we – like almost all the countries in the world – are living through rough weather. A time that has put a burden on the necessities of lives and livelihoods like never before in recent history. Unfortunately, these external shocks have heightened Ghana’s perennial problems – which we are committed to addressing,” he said.