March 18, 2023
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Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University, Professor Steve Hanke, has once again taken a swipe at Ghana’s economy under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

This time, he has stated that the economy has gone down the tubes suggesting that the president and managers of the economy have failed.

His comment comes on the back of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) hinting at increasing transport fares in the coming days.

“During Pres. Akufo-Addo’s reign, #Ghana’s economy has gone down the tubes. Just this week, transport fares have jumped by over 21%. Today, I measure GHA’s inflation at 80%/yr. That’s over 2.5 TIMES the official rate,” Prof Hanke tweeted on Wednesday, September 14 citing a GhanaWeb story on imminent hikes in transport fares.

GPRTU in an interview with Rainbow Radio justified the planned price increases stating that it did not increase the cost of transportation despite the recent astronomical increase in fuel prices.

Abass Ibrahim Imoro, who is the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of GPRTU wondered why the media did not commend them for not raising transportation fares despite rising fuel prices.

“The media should applaud us for sticking to the old fares for so long. We deserve praise for taking such a risk.

“We had asked the government to intervene in the matter, but they were unable to do so. So, at this point, we have no choice but to raise transportation fares. The drivers have made significant sacrifices for Ghanaians.

When asked what would be the percentage of the transport fares, he said “exercise patience. We would soon announce the new increment. We are still deliberating on the way forward. The moment we agree on the percentage, we will announce it to Ghanaians.”

If the increment is announced, it will be at least the second time in this year alone that transport fare has gone up.

Ghana’s economy has been hard hit according to the government by the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and banking sector cleanup.

The rippling effect has been an increased cost of living, record high inflation rates and downgrades of the economy by rating agencies such as S&P and Fitch – a situation which has dealt a heavy blow to government’s ability to access the international capital market.

The worsening economic situation compelled the government in July to initiate contact with IMF for a programme.

Ghana is said to be targeting an amount of $3 billion over three years from the International Monetary Fund once an agreement on a programme is reached. The new amount requested as a loan was double the government’s initial target of $1.5 billion.

Government hopes to complete negotiations by end of the year to start receiving funds in the first quarter of next year.

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