The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a pro-New Patriotic Party, NPP, group is concerned about the state of the economy and wants President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take steps to curb the decline.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta (L), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (R)

The group via an October 24, 2022 press release lamented the continuous depreciation of the dollar, pinning it on racketeers within the banking system and calling on the government to remedy the situation.

They listed a number of measures that could help deal with the economic downturn with special emphasis on why the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta should leave his post even if the president is not willing to fire him.

"Mr President, also critical is the mass belief by Ghanaians that the minister of finance is doing very little to shore up confidence in the market. Nonetheless, but arguably so, there is a broad perception of him not doing much, coupled with his attack on the IMF.

"The finance minister believes that going to IMF has a dire effect on the economy and that Ghana won't seek any support from the IMF. AFAG finds it inconsistent of him, therefore, to lead the IMF negotiations or remain in office now that the government is seeking a bailout," the AFAG statement read in part.

One of their resolutions on how to get Ghana out of the economic quagmire was for the president to relieve Ofori-Atta of his current position but to still allow him to serve in another capacity in government.

"The minister of finance and the Minister of State at the Ministry, Ken Ofori Atta and Charles Adu Boahen must be reassigned," their first resolution read.

AFAG also wants president Akufo-Addo to produce an economic recovery programme because they believe that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) support alone will not solve the current crisis.

"Over the period, you have not also addressed the country. We find this highly unusual based on how in the past, you have fostered cooperation from Ghanaians through your frequent addresses during the covid crisis.

"We will need you to reduce anxiety in the system and let Ghanaians know the 'whys' and 'hows'," the statement added.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has meanwhile revealed that the Bank of Ghana will as of today start taking steps to halt the cedi depreciation.

He adds that President Akufo-Addo will lead a three-day cabinet meeting over the coming weekend and will address the nation in due course.

FULL AFAG STATEMENT: Mr PRESIDENT, SPEAK & ACT NOW

The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) is a public interest advocacy group that shares a lot of centre-right positions on issues that are often in sync with the ideological philosophy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Over the years, AFAG has been quiet out of goodwill toward Government. However, given recent developments, we are forced to depart from our current position on national development.

Mr President, it is our considered opinion that the current speed of the cedi depreciation is borne out of the mischief of speculators and is purely artificial.

Although it will reflect various challenges with the balance of payment due to post covid and Ukraine, there is some panic buying, a lack of confidence and a high degree of uncertainty in the financial market.

Mr President, there is a particular conspiracy theory that points to the central bank's supervision of the forex market as weak. It is believed that high-placed persons in the central and commercial banks with profit motives auction dollars at an interbank rate, cheaper to the black markets, who then sell it on the market at very high speeds.

It is also the belief that people in business in the subregions are contributing to the volatile situation by coming into Ghana to sell their currency and buy dollars for cheap in Ghana, and after that, sending it to their countries (where dollars are pretty expensive). Mr President, this is among others.

Mr President, also critical is the mass belief by Ghanaians that the minister of finance is doing very little to shore up confidence in the market. Nonetheless, but arguably so, there is a broad perception of him not doing much, coupled with his attack on the IMF.

The finance minister believes that going to IMF has a dire effect on the economy and that Ghana won't seek any support from the IMF. AFAG finds it inconsistent of him, therefore, to lead the IMF negotiations or remain in office now that the government is seeking a bailout.

Mr President, it is time to present an economic recovery plan to the nation. IMF intervention would not be enough to salvage the situation.

Over the period, you have not also addressed the country. We find this highly unusual based on how in the past, you have fostered cooperation from Ghanaians through your frequent addresses during the covid crisis. We will need you to reduce anxiety in the system and let Ghanaians know the "whys" and "hows".

RESOLUTION:

● The minister of finance and the Minister of State at the Ministry, Ken Ofori Atta and Charles Adu Boahen must be reassigned

● some forex restrictions targeted at persons undermining the system, from the central bank through the commercial banks to the unlicensed forex operators

● investigate the banks and prosecute officials engaged in forex trading

● impose import restrictions on selected items

● engaging multinational companies and business ventures contributing to the capital flight.

● restricting the forex export to a certain level, at least in the next six months.

● Ensuring traders who export US dollars from Ghana annually have imported about an equal amount to the country.

● Encourage Ghanaians to understand why the current rates are artificial and how they will trade at a loss when the market settles, and the cedi benchmarks to the US Dollar at its real value.

Signed

Source: www.ghanaweb