John Mahama: Coronavirus Has Exposed The Economy

Former President John Dramani Mahama says the country’s economy has revealed that it is fragile following the “stress test” it has been subjected to by the coronavirus pandemic.

He, therefore, called for the need for authorities to be prudent in the management of the sector going forward.

Mr. Mahama made these remarks on Tuesday when he made available relief items worth millions of Cedis for distribution to 20,000 households in Ghana.

The gesture is his own way of mitigating the effects of the lockdown on many Ghanaians.

He said COVID-19 management requires that there is strict prioritization in the government’s borrowing and expenditure.

On Monday, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $1 billion for disbursement to Ghana under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to cushion the economy.

The former president said the decision by IMF is “timely” and “very welcome”

“This will help cushion the economy from the dangers of recession,” he noted, strongly indicating: “Our economy has revealed from this COVID stress test that it is still fragile and we need to be prudent in how we manage going forward.”

He said the government led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must be diligent in the application of the facility as it is released in tranches.

But he maintained that without strict management, it would cost the country.

Mr. Mahama, therefore, asked President Akufo-Addo as a matter of urgency to downsize his government.

“This might be the right time for the president to consider trimming the bloated size of his government.”

So far, a National COVID-19 Trust Fund has been set up by the government. The president donated his salaries of April, May, and June as seed money for the Fund while his appointees donated 50 percent of their salaries of the same months.

As of Sunday, April 5, about GH¢8.75 million has been realized from donations by corporate organizations and other bodies.

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