Mr. Chairman, national and regional executive members of our party (APC) , the media, fellow countrymen and women, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning to you all.
Our Nation is in Crisis, and we as Ghanaians must either help resolve the situation or increase the impact of the situation. Some few months ago, when the Ghanaian Cedi lost value against major currencies and prices of Petroleum products went up, the Ghanaian businessmen and traders quickly Increased their prices of goods and services in the markets, others doubled their prices. The free market system made it very difficult for our citizens, and many suffered significantly while other citizens could not adjust to the high cost of living.
Ghanaian traders, businessmen and women, transportation owners , cement and iron rod dealers, spare parts dealers, restaurants and food vendors, bottled water companies and pure water sellers, waakye and Gobe sellers had a reason to increase their goods and services astronomically.
The rest include school proprietors, airlines and travel & tour companies, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, telcos and service providers, filling stations, shopping malls, furniture, paint companies, car dealers, hotels and recreational Centres, Ghana water company, ECG, cable internet networks and others also increased their prices without recourse to price negotiations with government agencies.
Ladies and gentlemen, today the reverse is happening and everyone seems to be mute. The Ghanaian Cedi is gaining it strength, prices of petroleum products has gone down but the Ghanaian businesses mentioned above have refused to reduce the prices of goods and services. The speed at which our businessmen and women increased their products went the dollar appreciated against the Cedi, same speed is expected to decrease the prices of good and services when the dollar also depreciated against the Cedi.
Dr. Hassan Ayariga and the APC party will not allow people to take undue advantage of the situation and increase the suffering of our very own people. It is our collective duty to help resolve our crisis and as well build Ghana together. No government can build a better Ghana without the support, understanding, sacrifices and love of the Ghanaian people.
Love for your nation also means sacrificing for the generation now and beyond. Our national interest must be above our parochial interest. We must change our attitude and stop all these partisan behavior and build our homeland together.
Admittedly, our governments have failed us, but must our citizens and business leaders also fail this generation? We need each other to build a resilient and robust economy. We are the government and must rise above pertinence and do the right thing for our motherland to grow and develop.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to appeal to the government of president Nana Akufo Addo to implement APC’s policy of Price guarantee (control) system to regulate and monitor prices of goods and services in the market. GRA must collaborate with all relevant institutions to make sure that all commodities in the markets are properly coded and regulated.
The appreciation of the cedi is meaningless unless it is linked with the total reduction of prices of goods and services and Petroleum products.
Inflation is now 50%. Inflation will continue to accelerate if our business leaders continue to enjoy the undue advantage. I am calling on our business leaders and market traders to reduce their prices of goods and services immediately to mitigate the situation. Many are worried about the stabilization of the Ghanaian cedi against the major currencies, but it is only when we all do the right thing that the cedi will be stable.
I want to appeal to the government to institute a national task force to go round and make sure that traders, businesses, malls, companies, cement and iron rod dealers, shop owners, and others reduce their prices of goods and services. Government should also roll out policies and regulations of pricing of goods and services in the country.
Government should also pass a legislation or direct all the banks in Ghana to credit clients who intend to buy foreign currencies for business purposes by crediting their accounts with such currencies rather than giving out physical cash to them. By this our traders will not have cash (foreign currencies ) transactions any more. A directive should also be made to all banks to sell foreign currencies not more $10,000:00 equivalent to Travelers who can show evidence of a valid traveling air ticket to their country of destination.
We should learn to love and value our Own Ghana Cedi and make it great and strong.
I wish every Ghanaian a Merry Christmas and prosperous new year.
Dr. Hassan Ayariga