There is hardship but don’t underestimate negative impact of Covid – Okoe-Boye

Former Member of Parliament of Ledzokuku Constituency and Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye has indicated that he agrees there are challenges with the economy leading to high cost of living in Ghana but Ghanaians should not underestimate the impact of COVID.

“Just as the president stated from his SONA, I also appreciate some of the challenges the people are going through. I buy fuel myself and even with my 1.2 CC V4 Vehicle, I have realized the fuel I used to buy has doubled,” he told Alfred Ocansey on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show.

He added “Power was not stable before the NPP came into office in 2017, there was no Free SHS, and the government was not employing. Even the very advanced economies of the world are struggling with the impact of COVID 19. We should be careful not to undermine the essence of government interventions because of the challenges associated with them.

“The fact that we are in a crisis doesn’t mean we should go and create a crisis elsewhere. Nobody should make a mistake to say let’s abandon Free Senior High School.

“If anybody in this country decides to talk about the economic challenges in our country without considering the impact of COVID economically, that is unfair.  Largely we have come through this crisis and the government is doing everything possible to better the economy.”

His comments come after some leading members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) including Deputy National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Edem Agbana have said the challenges facing the country currently cannot be blamed on the outbreak of the coronavirus.

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In the view of Agbana, the country is struggling due to the incompetence of the Akufo-Addo administration in managing the economy.

Agbana was reacting to a comment by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the effect that he does not know of any economy around the world that is doing well in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine.

Mr Akufo-Addo said economies around the world are all struggling owing to these two main factors.

Speaking in an interview with BBC’s Peter Okwoche on Monday, April 4, he said “we have also the opportunity to have industries set up not just for Ghana [but also] for the ECOWAS market and also for the African market.

“We now have an African Continental Free Trade Area agreement which is up and operating. Ghana is the gateway to its market of 1.2billion people. Imagine the opportunities that we are presenting.”

He added “I don’t know the economy in the world that is doing well.

“The Cedi has begun to firm up. The world is going through a difficult [moment], Ghana is no exception, Nigeria is no exception. There is no country in the world that is escaping the ravages of Covid-19 and also the impact of the [Russia-Ukraine conflict].”

He added, “In Ghana, the recovery programme that we have is considered very credible and it is what is going to give us the opportunity to come out of this period stronger, it is that future we are looking at.”

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But speaking on the New Day show with Johnnie Hughes on TV3 Tuesday April 5, Edem Agbana said “we have a leadership that is refusing to accept that it is because of their incompetence and mismanagement of the economy that is why we are where we are today.

“Assuming without admitting that indeed, all the countries the economy is not doing well, why must we be part of the worst performing?

“Did Covid not hit Togo, Benin? If the economy was resilient as they wanted us to believe, we will not have been here today.”

By Samuel Afriyie Owusu||Ghana