University of Ghana’s Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has warned that the times ahead will be hard and Ghanaians should prepare for what is coming, MyNewsGH.com reports.
This follows the prediction by ISSER that, the cedi will further depreciate against the dollar in 2018.
“It’s expected that the cedi will depreciate slightly more than the 2017 levels because of the current rise in interest rate in the US market and the gradual increase in the proportion of foreigners holding Ghana’s domestic bonds,” the Institute’s Director Professor Felix Ankomah Asante said Tuesday at a press conference.
The cedi in May this year, according to the Central Bank governor, gained 0.02 percent against the dollar then, compared to a depreciation of 0.97 percent in the same period in 2017.
Since then, however, the cedi has recorded massive losses against the dollar.
But speaking further following the prediction, the Executive Director for the Institute, Professor Felix Asante, says Ghanaians should be prepared for tough times since the economy of the country will face some instability.
Speaking on ‘Ghana Te sen?’ with Prince Minkah on Radio XYZ 93.1, Professor Felix Ankomah Asante told Kwame Minkah, host of the programme that, the shortfalls in revenue generation in the country coupled with some policies will heighten the standard of living for some time despite the rebasing of the economy.
“When you were asking about things going to be hard, yes, things will be hard. Today crude is around $80 per barrel. Fuel will go up, and it means food will go up… transport will go up and salary will not be enough. It will also mean people will not be buying things and if people are not buying things, VAT will be affected and social projects will suffer.” He explained.
He called on the government to expand the tax net, calling on citizens to fulfill their tax obligations to the government.
“When we evade taxes, it is the government that suffers… Also, a lot of people are doing business in Ghana without paying tax. They are in the informal sector. We have to widen the tax net.” He said.
Tighten your belts
Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta over the weekend rallied Ghanaians to sacrifice as the economy faces difficult times.
In an exhortation at the Royal House chapel in Accra on Sunday, the finance minister conceded that “times are difficult but we need to look beyond today to get to where we want to get to”.
One of the aims of government that require the tightening of belts is education, he said explaining its flagship policy free Senior High School has been a huge but worthwhile drain on government resources.
“The value that we are creating is important”, he told the congregants and explained beneficiaries of the education policy have shot up from 90,000 to 180,000 students within two years of implementation.
“What does that mean? It means we are having to go to sacrifice…when we are investing in our children it is greater than the sacrifices we may be having”. He had said.