Government will, from today to Wednesday, conduct series of engagements with key sector players within the economy.
The engagements are aimed at evaluating the effect of the government’s economic mitigation measures that were announced in March this year.
According to the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Senior Advisor to the President, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, is expected to chair the engagements, and report to Cabinet by Thursday.
Speaking to a section of the media yesterday, the Information Minister disclosed that Ministers expected to participate in the engagements include the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto; the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah; and the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Regional Re-organisation, Dan Botwe.
Others are the Caretaker Minister of Children, Gender and Social Protection, Cecilia Abena Dapaah; the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen; and the Minister of Information.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the exercise is expected to enable government determine whether or not the economic mitigating measures had provided enough of a cushioning from the adverse effects of the recent global crisis.
He added that the engagements would also enable the Ministers examine what more may be done to support Ghanaians during these difficult times.
According to the Minister, the decision to implement the economic mitigating measures emerged after President Akufo-Addo met his Cabinet Ministers at a retreat earlier this year to take stock of the effects of the global crisis.
The reliefs from the government included the opening of the country’s land borders, easing of general COVID-19 restrictions, measures to arrest currency depreciation and the rising fuel prices occasioned by the global economic turmoil and the reduction of government expenditure.
This week’s engagements will enable ministers assess the impact of the measures in anticipation of a mid-year Cabinet review.
Earlier last week, the Caretaker Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, met with the traders to understand the driving factors of high prices of food stuffs in the country and steps taken to address the issues.
The Minister explained that government was concerned about recent hikes in prices of foodstuffs, assuring that prudent measures were in the pipelines to mitigate the burden imposed on the people as a result of the economic hardship.
She urged the traders to come out with the challenges they were faced with in the field of work that had contributed to the increment in prices of foodstuffs and solutions that would help curb the situation for the betterment of the consumer and the country as well.
The leadership of the market traders association lamented the escalating fuel prices and the recent upward adjustment in transport fares.
They also identified the country’s poor road networks, how neighbouring countries buy the foodstuffs with their foreign currency, how suppliers value foreign customers over local customers, and the high rate of foreign exchange as major challenges bedeviling their businesses.
Touching on the way forward in solving the issues, the traders appealed to the government to implement policies to reduce prices of transport fares.
They also urged the government to provide effective state transport system that will be cost effective to convey locally manufactured goods to the market for consumers to buy at a much lower price.