Reduce size of govt to help address economic challenges – ISSER

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, says there is an urgent need for the reduction of the size of government in view of the economic challenges the country is going through.

That, it said, would bring some confidence in the economy to help address the challenges facing the country.

Mr Armah Mensah (left) being assisted by Prof Peter Quartey (second from left)and Prof. Gordon A. Awandare(right) Pro Vice Chancellor to launch the report Photo Michael Ayeh
Mr Armah Mensah (left) being assisted by Prof Peter Quartey (second from left)and Prof. Gordon A. Awandare(right) Pro Vice Chancellor to launch the report Photo Michael Ayeh

Professor Peter Quartey, the Director of ISSER, who made the suggestion during the launch of the State of Ghana Economy Report (SGER), said the reduction in the size of the government would send some signals to the market and help the country’s partners to appreciate that the government was committed to cutting down expenditure.

The SGER, the 31st edition, highlighted on the state of the economy for 2021 and third quarter of this year.

Professor Quartey, who gave a highlight on some of the  recommendations in the SGER to help prop up the economy, said though the government argued that some of the ministers were not paid, those ministers had offices and secretaries who were paid by the state.

Professor Quartey further said there was the need for a reshuffle to bring fresh ideas and vibrancy in the government.

“Desperate situations, need desperate solutions and business cannot be as usual if the government wants to quickly come out with measures to resuscitate the country from its current economic difficulties,” he said.

The Director of ISSER entreated the Bank of Ghana not only to inject more forex into the market to meet the forex needs of companies and corporate, but also ensure that the forex were not siphoned out of the country.

According to Prof. Quarter, the country’s borders were so porous and the forex Bank of Ghana injected into the economy were taken out of the country.

Prof. Quarter entreated government to instill discipline in the economy and ensure efficiency and value for money in its expenditure to help build a robust and vibrant economy.

He also said there was the need for the government to cut down on expenditure and introduce measures to increase revenue mobilisation to meet the fiscal needs of the country.

Prof. Quarter said in view of the country’s growing debt, government could not borrow from the internal capital market this year to raise more forex to shore up the cedi.

On the International Monetary Fund Programme being pursued by the government for balance of payment support, Prof. Quartey, said there was the need for government to communicate promptly on the programme with the public to gain public confidence and reduce doubts in the minds of the people, particularly on the issue of debt restructuring.

Dr John Kofi Mensah, the Managing Director of ADB in remarks made on his behalf by the General Manager in charge of Business Banking, Mr Edward Ian-Armah Mensah, commended ISSER for the report, saying it did not only highlight the challenges facing the economy, but also proffered solutions.

He said the loss of the market access to the international capital market, portfolio reversals and sudden exit of non-residents in the bond market, were some of the factors fuelling the current difficulties in the Ghanaian economy, particularly the depreciation of the Cedi.

Dr Mensah said the Cedi as of September, 2022 had depreciated by 37.5 per cent, 24.1 and 27.5 per cent against the dollar, the pound and the euro.


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