GH¢100bn Obaatapaa programme must know no political colours – economist

GH¢100bn Obaatapaa programme must know no political colours – economist

-says its success hinges on right institutions

The GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares Obaatapaa programme will do little to improve the lot of Ghanaians without the right institutions and political interference, Dr. Sam Ankrah, an economist and investment banker, has said.

He said the ambitious programme, meant to create 1million jobs in the next four years, has the potential to be a game changer but only if the right institutions can be used to regulate, implement and disburse the funds.

“This is no doubt an ambitious programme, however, it is a great initiative which needs to be supported and pray for it to succeed. But I trust that its success will be hinged on finding the right bodies to regulate and disburse the funds,” he said.

Dr. Ankrah spoke in Accra during his induction as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Economists, Ghana and noted that the programme’s success depends on strong institutions that transcend political colours.

The funds, he warned, will go to political animals who will never have any intention to pay back and in the end, nothing will be achieved, if the government fails to use the right institutions in implementing it.

For instance, he said “we will be doing ourselves a disservice if we continue to use what I call the ‘political institutions’ such as the MASLOC, venture capital and its likes to disburse these funds.”

He further advised that the disbursement be modelled under the programme, using the Ghana Enterprise Agency formerly the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) as an example.

Translating positive economic indicators into results

Reacting to the recent mid-year budget review presentation by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Dr. Ankrah said as much as most of the economic indicators like inflation, among others, are on a positive trend as presented by Mr. Ofori-Atta, it will mean very little to the Ghanaian if prices of food and cost of living in general, keep rising.

“With inflation, we are told that we are witnessing one of the lowest numbers on record in about two years. Inflation, which, at the height of the pandemic, hovered around 11.8%, dropped to 7.5% in May 2021 before inching up slightly to 7.8% in June.

Beautiful numbers, isn’t it? But if it is so, why are we hearing that ball of kenkey for instance has shot up by more than 100% and all other food items are also rising in prices at an average of 80%. This tells you that we like numbers which do not reflect on the ground to make the ordinary man feel it,” he said.

For the country to have a successful economy, he said positive economic indicators should lead to action at the micro side where jobs are being created, entrepreneurs and starts-ups being made and the real sectors performing to their optimum to bring down the cost of living and cost of doing business.

“I want to see an economy where housing is affordable; where majority within the middle to lower income level can find a place to lay their head not necessarily owning it but even renting at affordable rates,” he concluded.

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