During the Global Citizens Festival, the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was openly booed and heckled by a nonpartisan youth crowd.
This “unfortunate” episode has sparked a range of responses from officials, opposition activists, and governance experts. The acknowledgement that things are tough, however, crosses across the diverse viewpoints stated on the subject.
Many people do not hold the youth responsible for the President’s boos. The economy is in free fall. Prices for food are soaring. The cost of fuel is increasing daily.
Based on the aforementioned, we listed five problems that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is forcing Ghanaians to deal with, in no particular order.
1 . Inflation: Ghana is currently facing its biggest inflation figures in over three decades. In a data released by the Ghana Statistical Service, the inflation rate for July was 31.7%.
According to the data, food inflation rose again to 32.3% while non-food inflation was 31.3 percent.
Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Annim highlighted the impact of the key drivers on the increase in the overall inflation rate for July 2022.
“We composed this from two perspectives, the food and non-food inflation and from a domestic and imported perspective. From the food and non-food inflation, we recorded food inflation of 32.3% and 31.3% for non-food inflation.”
“From the domestic perspective, we recorded 29.2% and imported inflation of 31.3%”, he said.
2 . Pre-paid electricity issues: Currently, there are scores of queues at regional and district offices of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) due to issues of buying pre-paid credit.
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Limited says a technical challenge has affected its prepaid metering systems.
The Electricity company said this has interrupted the purchase of electricity credit.
A statement from the electricity company said customers in the the Volta, Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi, Tema, Cape Coast, Kasoa, Winneba, Swedru, Koforidua, Nkawkaw, and Tafo have been affected.
“Affected customers should please note that our ICT team is working assiduously to correct the anomaly and restore the system to normalcy”, the statement said.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this technical challenge,” it added.
3 . E-levy: Arguably one of the most unpopular policies in President Akufo-Addo’s administration, the underwhelming revenues the e-levy has generated does not come as a surprise.
Three-fourths of Ghanaians disapprove of the passed electronic transaction levy (e-levy), a new Afrobarometer survey showed.
The government introduced the e-levy on 1 May in a bid to widen the tax net. However, a large majority of Ghanaians think it is a bad idea and will mean a greater tax burden on citizens. Many do not trust that the government will use the revenues generated to fund development programmes, and citizens are almost evenly split as to whether they will continue to use electronic financial transactions.
The study also showed that a majority of Ghanaians believe there are several important goals that a tax revenue system must achieve, including ensuring that people understand the taxes they owe, reducing the tax burden, using tax revenues more effectively, and ensuring that citizens and businesses pay taxes.
4 . Fuel prices: Presently a litre of petrol is going for about GH ¢11 on the average and GH¢13.70 on the average for diesel.
These rampant increases have led to increment in transport prices within the past 6 months.
Earlier this month, leadership of the Ghana Private Roads Transport Union (GPRTU) has indicated it will soon communicate to the public new transportation fares following the incessant increase in fuel prices.
The union says the continuous rise in the price of petroleum products is draining the finances of commercial vehicle owners.
In a Citi News interview, Head of Communications at GPRTU, Abbas Moro stressed that members under the union are pushing for an increase in transport fares.
“We have sensitized the general public that whenever the prices of fuel go up 10 percent above the existing price, automatically we are supposed to increase fares. There are so many things to look out for including the current economic situation. So for where we are heading towards, we cannot keep sacrificing – definitely when our leadership meets something positive must come out.”