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Be transparent with stimulus package – Banking consultant

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Dr Richmond Atuahene, Banking Consultant

A BANKING consultant, Dr Richmond Atuahene, has recommended that any move to offer a stimulus package to businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should be more transparent.

He said it was important to let Ghanaians know the type of industries to be supported, the sectors to be supported and the expected impact on the economy.

Speaking to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra on how best the country could manage the effects of the COVID-19 on the economy, Dr Atuahene said: “Let us be very objective and transparent about everything we are doing.”

“Pharmaceutical companies have been supported earlier under the Ghana Export-Import Bank (EXIM), so, that’s why the President said they should be up for the game.” 

“I think that as a nation, we should identify the sectors. For example, if it is food manufacturing, then we support.” 

“Since the Minister of Food and Agriculture says there is a buffer for rice, quickly government’s attention should be turned to the production of quality rice so that in two or three months’ time, when there may be no imported rice, Ghanaians will consume the rice from the buffer stock.”

Critical industries
Dr Atuahene said it was necessary that the country looked at its critical industries and began to support them to enable them to go through the crisis or else, there would be no economy after everything.

“The crisis can grind us to a halt. The problem is that when we are discussing national issues, some people turn it into politics.

“It’s not a political issue. If they don’t come with one voice to speak as a nation, we will be stagnating this country and politics will take over from everything.

“Let us come together, let us think of how we can get over it because the disease has no barrier.” 

Economic activities have slowed down ever since Ghana began to record cases of COVID-19.

Some businesses associations have called for urgent stimulus package – tax cuts and tax delays to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on them.

Most of them have suggested that in the quest to find medical solutions to the problem, government should also have dialogues with them.

COVID-19 in Ghana
As of Thursday, April 30, 2020, 10:40 a.m, there were 2,074 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ghana, per the update on the Ghana Health Service website.

The death toll from the illness was 17 while recoveries were 212.

The Greater Accra Region with 1,795 had the highest number of infections among the 12 regions with confirmed cases, followed by the Ashanti Region, 99 and the Eastern Region with 21??? cases.

The Savannah, Bono, Ahafo and Bono East Regions had still not recorded any cases.