Where are your men? – Appau-Klu asks Akufo-Addo over cedi fall

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A former deputy spokesperson for former president John Mahama’s flagbearer campaign is asking President Akufo-Addo to produce the “able men” to stabilise the Ghanaian economy and the falling cedi.

Elsie Appau-Klu said when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was in opposition, candidate Akufo-Addo touted the party had able men to drive the development agenda of the country if voted into power, but since the party took over power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2017, the said men seem to have been missing, leaving the economy in a terrible state.

Mrs Appau-Klu, a private legal practitioner, made this observation when contributing as a panel member on Ete Sen, a political talkshow on Radio XYZ Friday morning.

“I want to ask President Akufo-Addo about the men he said he had to deliver,” she remarked and noted that the economy of the country was bad that business persons who complained during the time NDC was in power are “crying” over the difficulty in doing business in Ghana.

“Go to Abossey Okai [a spare parts hub in Accra] and see how people are crying. They’re crying over high import charges and the cedi depreciation… Today, if you buy an item for 100 cedis, tomorrow you will buy same item for about 120 cedis,” Appau-Klu added.

According to the public policy analyst, the party that boasted of competent men to govern Ghana should not be preciding over a “weak economy” such as Ghana’s.

The cedi has depreciated immensely against major trading currencies in the past month, raising questions about the competency of Akufo-Addo and his cousin, Ken Ofori-Atta who is the Minister for Finance.

The cedi has been relatively stable in the past week because government secured a 3 billion dollar Eurobond and part of it was used to shore it up. However, that has been criticized by financial experts, including Bolga Central Legislator Isaac Adongo.

Ken Ofori-Atta who was in Parliament on Thursday disclosed, the successful 3 billion cedi Eurobond which was heavily oversubscribed meant the economy was doing well, adding that the cedi saw some improvement after the injections of close to one billion dollars into the Central bank to shore it up.

But reports have it that the breather last week which saw the cedi appreciate against the dollar from GHS 5.85p to nearly GHS 5.15 last week, is crumbling again.

Average interbank rates are now pegged at GHS 5.34p cedis to the dollar, raising fears the ‘short-lived’ interventions could worsen the crisis.

International economist, Kwame Mpiani who also spoke on the same issue at Media General’s Economic Dialogue series suggested the ad-hoc measures the government had employed to stabilise the cedi would not be sustained for long.

However, the Finance Minister says he is optimistic measures the government has put in place will yield positive results.

According to Ofori-Atta, the current trend is a result of investor speculation and not as a result of weak economic fundamentals as some Ghanaians put it.

Meanwhile, Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson who was a former Deputy Finance Minister says the Minority is ready to heed to the government’s call to be engaged on a bi-partisan committee to curb a further depreciation of the cedi, especially as the Akufo-Addo administration has realized it does not have the magic wand to deal with the economic challenges as they made Ghanaians to believe.

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