Formation of Quasi Price Regulatory Agency
Government does a lot to tame transport cost and even fuel prices despite free market mechanism set in place. The final objectives of these measures are that the multiplier effect of the Ghana Transport Road Coordinating Council will alleviate the economic hardship of fuel increases. We hardly see that in other industries and sectors (Cement, iron rods, spare parts, other key building materials and imported cereals) where the government engenders low tax duties, subsidised electricity, low interest loan assistance, etc. to these sectors purposely to aid the businesses involved, and relieve the populace of high product prices.
The expected price outcomes are not felt by the larger public because of societal indiscipline and lack of appropriate monitoring measures by government to assesss the right impact of above-outlined interventions by state agencies on the public. Customers or larger public still feel the brunt of unmeasured price increases by the traders who have benefitted directly and indirectly from government largesse denying the public access to measured prices. Such policy distortion impacts the government negatively.
Within a month price have been changing rapidly – sometimes daily, and citizens keep asking why?
|ITEM||PRICES LAST MONTH –February 2022||PROPOSED PRICES IN MARCH 2022|
|Chicken Back box||96||135|
The daily price changes of basic necessities such as food and consumables sometimes rock my mind as to how Ghana Statistical Services are able to compute their figures for government planning. There might be external factors, forex volatility and fuel prices accounting for such rapid price changes; but these notwithstanding, we need some semblance of price stability in the country. This persistent price increases places financial stresses on the ordinary citizens who in turn blame government, affecting the approval ratings of the party in power.
Land tenure issues to enhance agric investment
As a lot of young enthusiastic prospects reject farming because of lacking access to funds to purchase large amounts of land, MOFA could in consultation with the AG, Local Government Ministry and Ministry of chieftaincy acquire some fertile lands as Agri Lands under MOFA – whereby interested investors will resort to leasing lands for Agri business. An example is Ejura Block Farming for maize. Such model can be replicated across the country for other agro products and this will greatly engender agric investments and productivity.
Hernando De Soto (Famous Peruvian Economist) visited Ghana somewhere in the late 90s and recommended a mixed indentured and titled farmland to enable farmers’ access finance. I have personally witnessed cocoa farmers taking local loans at 100 percent interest per annum/season. The loans are typed and signed sometimes by Commissioners of Oaths or local typewriters signed by both lender and borrower and their witnesses. The loan type is in local parlance called ‘MMPIM ANIM’ (hitting the face hard). This is deplorable, and the Attorney-General, Local Government, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Land and Forestry need to collaborate to design something better for farmers, whereby both lender and borrower are protected. After all, what is governance and policy-making if they doesn’t improve the welfare of the masses and lead to their benefits?
Family planning laws
The nation needs family planning policies, and the enforcement of laws to curb population growth. This must be introduced as soon as possible. It’s an obvious fact that many in the lower part society’s pyramid are giving birth to more than they can take care of – materially and financially. A two or three children limit must be considered for introduction. Discussions on this must be bi-partisan. The sustenance of the NHIA, FSHS and other government interventions are paramount in this suggestion. Also, the present infrastructure development across health, education, regions and numerous parameters, with our scarce resources cannot accommodate our present population growth rate. I have personally witnessed disproportionate number of children as against economic/financial capacity of the parents in many parts of Western North and BA Regions which is unhelpful to the country’s future.
Serious countries like China and India have applied this to manage economic challenges and societal problems.
We just need to get around the recommended number of children per family head; how we allot the number of children per polygamous home. It’s not difficult if we get our mind fixed to do it. We better do this now or wait till the Bretton Woods Institutions enforce it on us sooner than later. The voluntary measures are not working and we need the enforcement, reward, punishment type to ensure its achievement.
Kwamina is an experienced financial and credit analyst with over 10 years in advanced commercial lending and bankside experience