26.03.2024 Opinion

Ghana On The Cross Road: A Path To Prosperity

By Abdul Kamaldeen Vemmie
Ghana On The Cross Road: A Path To Prosperity
26.03.2024 LISTEN

Ghana, is a vibrant country with a rich cultural heritage. Research has proven that Ghanaians are the most hardworking people in the sub-region and Ghanaian government is not making much effort to appreciate these hard working Ghanaians. Many individuals have had to overcome obstacles and find innovative solutions to make a living. This has fostered a spirit of determination and resourcefulness among the Ghanaian citizens. The dedication and perseverance of individuals contribute to the growth of various sectors, such as agriculture, entrepreneurship, just to mention a few. It is important to recognize and celebrate the hard work of Ghanaians, as it plays a significant role in the country's development and progress.

In the period where the country is facing serious economic quagmire and woes is where we needed a restructuring of the financial sector which is essential for economic development. Ghana can enhance its financial system by implementing sound regulations, improving access to credit for small businesses, reduction of interest rate, and promoting financial literacy. This enable businesses to access capital, encourage saving and investment, and facilitate economic transactions. The government also needs to prioritize and invest a bit more in the private sector yet maintain a healthy checks on them to prevent wild gap of in inequality and also give incentives to the startups to increase production in the private sector.

It is pathetic how Ghana's economy has made everyone on the street beggars. One can't even trek on the street in peace without being bombarded with woeful sentiments like "Boss can I get this to buy food". Those hawking on the street will be like "buy for me so I could buy something to eat, and that since morning they haven't made any single sale", The funniest part is someone who can be your "mum" or "Dad" will call you names like " Pappa" or " boss" just to please you so you can offer them something because the economy is terrible.

It will interest you to know that, they don't know the persons too might be incapacitated to help, just that they had the privilege to dress well and that doesn't mean the economy favors them as well. We are all in this together, nothing is really working in this country.

The state authorities need to do something about the conquer, because the Patriotic citizens don't really have a breathing space, the business men are overburden with taxes. There are instances the GRA officials will have to be stationed at people's shops just to make sure that no one evade taxes. In as much as you develop mechanisms to curb the evasion of taxes why don't you replicate same in improving the conditions of businesses in order to make it lucrative enough to attract many people.

Now our foreign investors are leaving the country just because their business is nothing to "write home about". I know of an Indian friend who has a factory for the production of quality traveling bags and has employed hundreds of people in the factory. He now tells me that he's leaving because he's just into the production for nothing. According to him more than fifty percent of his profit gains goes into cipher taxation unlike government having a share in the company. Due to the unbearable taxes he opted to put on hold with production and move to his native country to start his business, and the question is, what then happen to those under his shade? Are they going to sit aloof at home? These are some of the underlining Factors that frustrate the ordinary citizens and make them handicap not that they are not hardworking.

As a country, if we really want to "turn around the corner" from this economic perilous we ought to look at our tax exemptions seriously, because it is the taxes which collapse our private sector. I Know taxation is very crucial for the growth of every crawling economy like Ghana but when you do it excessively to abruptly get the Targeted revenue to revive the economy, it will also trigger some economic repercussions on the tax payers and private sector growth.

Also, as a member of United Nations which we have agreed to the terms and conditions as a body, and the government of Ghana has made it so difficult to do bilateral and multilateral trades across the member countries, why I'm saying so, today if you want import a car into the country, the import duties alone is fifty percent of the amount used to purchase the car (per reports). The import duties at the Port alone has made importation of goods into the country so cumbersome, and this has really driven a lot of foreign businesses away, who are into importation of goods to boost our trades and industry in the country. We claim we are self sufficient and reliance but lucks the technical known how to to manufacture all what we need as a country, the few who are striving on that don't also get support from the government.

Ghana can strengthen regional integration by deepening its ties with neighboring countries and participating actively in regional economic communities. By harmonizing trade policies, improving infrastructure connectivity, and promoting cross-border investments. Ghana can expand its market access, attract regional investments, and benefit from regional trade agreements.

The government has to take firm decision on the reduction of imports duties in the country, imagine that I have a company who are into the importation of cars for sale and I have been asked to pay those extravagant taxes from the port, how much will I also sell the car to get profit, that's where I will also increase it by hundred percent so as to pay the shipping cost and the import duties to also get some penny from the whole business transaction, the same thing applies to any good imported into the country. From this analogy, you see the inhumane increases in import duties is the primary cause of appreciable increase in prices of goods and services in the country.

Besides that, Promoting export-oriented industries can boost Ghana's international trade and generate foreign exchange. Ghana can support industries that have a competitive advantage in global markets, such as cocoa processing, textiles, and handicrafts. By providing incentives, market access support, and export financing, Ghana can encourage the growth of these industries and increase export earnings.

However, despite going for the international monetary fund (IMF) bid coupled with it's exuberant conditionalities which I think we need to cut our expenditure in order to suit the conditionalities as propose by the IMF and also to boost our revenue target. I also think the government should introduce some tax relief system to the private sector more importantly to the startups so that they can boost their production. When the private sector is successful following the underlining factors as discussed above, which requires careful planning, implementation, and collaboration between the government, private sector, and citizens, the ordinary Ghanaian will feel at peace as well as easing pressure from government. This will go a long way for us to "turn around the corner" economically. Together, we can work towards a prosperous and thriving economy for Ghana!

*✍🏼 By Abdul Kamaldeen Vemmie a journalist.*