Government's economic measures are frightening - Ahiable

By GNA
By GNA

8/31/2001 -

Mr Modestus Ahiable, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu-North, predicted that the future for the majority of Ghanaians would continue to be bleak because of the economic measures being taken by the government.

Mr Ahiable made this point at a Press Conference held by the Volta Region Parliamentary Caucus on the current economic, social and political state of the country.

He said at least, the people needed to see some minor improvement in their lives to assure them that a better future awaited them.

"To those, who claim that it is too early to hold the NPP (New Patriotic Party) to its promises we wish to point out that though Rome was not built in a day the people need to see minor improvements," he stressed.

Mr Ahiable, who is Chairman of the Caucus, said Ghanaians were expecting reductions in school fees but so far nothing has been done to solve the problems of the educational sector.

Instead, he said increases have been allowed to the extent that the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council (VRCC), for example, has imposed a 100 per cent increase in sports and culture fees at the basic level.

Additionally, Mr Ahiable said another 27,000 cedis has been imposed on all senior secondary school (SSS) students with effect from the next academic year, describing, it as illegal and should be condemned.

Mr Ahiable said the government, which boasts of its belief in the rule of law and freedom of speech had immobilised and intimidated citizens for expressing their opinions and has, allegedly, revoked the appointment of assembly members, who objected to nomination of some District Chief Executives.

Mr Steve Akorli, MP for Ho-East, said much of the gains of the present government were as a result of fiscal measures taken by the NDC when the party was in government during the latter part of last year.

He said the previous government achieved a 25 per cent reduction in inflation in 1998-1999 and said the present reduction from 40.5 per cent to 36 per cent as at August, could not be sustained because several factors including the government's freeze on its expenditure were artificial.

Mr Akorli said the government has so far taken panic economic measures in its attempt to revive the economy.

He said from March to May, for example, the government had borrowed eight trillion cedis from the domestic market.

Mr Kofi Attor, MP for Ho-Central said the intimidation and harassment of NDC functionaries and some top public servants, who were in office during the NDC era, was not in keeping with the rule of law that the government claimed to be championing.

He said such actions tended to create the impression that the victims were criminals and wondered whether such intimidation could promote reconciliation and national unity.

Mr Francis Agbotse, MP for Ho West, said the proposed National Reconciliation Commission must not limit its work to the military regimes alone but should cover all past governments.

He said the NDC was not opposed to the reconciliation initiative and would be prepared to involve itself provided members of the Commission would not be biased.

Mr Agbotse said the six million dollars cost for setting up the Commission was colossal and suggested that aggrieved persons could use institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, (CHRAJ) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to have their complaints settled.

Mr Doe Adjaho, MP for Avenor, challenged the government to explain to Ghanaians why it was still not using the Presidential jet bought with scarce resources but continued to burden the country with unpaid bills by travelling on commercial airlines during overseas trips.

He claimed that it has been established that no fishy deals were involved in the procurement of the presidential jet.