The Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey has laid emphasis on the extravagant spending by political leaders prior to and during elections.
At the launch of the State of the Ghanaian Economy Report (SGER) 2021 to review the 3rd quarter of the 2022 economic performance, Prof Quartey said that pre and post-election spending is a contributing factor to high capital expenditure in the country.
“What we have not been discussing and I haven’t heard any government official or politician speak about, elections spending as one of the causes of what we are going through now, but we know that post- elections challenges remain with us. The political business cycle were during every elections we tend to spend as if there’s no tomorrow because stakes are so high, Winner- takes- all. So we spend, we cut sword, we will be seeing people going round in a day, cutting sword here, left, right, centre and that’s our repercussion of our spending,” he said.
He further stated that debt distress had deepened Ghana’s recent economic woes, and this has left no room for future shocks.
“The idea is that you leave a buffer when you are around 65 or 60 so that if there is any shock at all, you can run to the external commercial market and borrow to basically smoothly and strengthen your situation but unfortunately we have hit the ceiling and therefore when we were hit by Russian-Ukraine war and all this down great we didn’t have anywhere to run to except the IMF”. He added.
Prof. Peter Quartey also called for a reduction in the size of government officials, reshuffling of ministers, and clear target assignments to aid in fiscal consolidation.
” If we reduce the size and make it more efficient, I think we would save a lot of revenue and it’s a positive signal to the market that this is a government that is facing challenges and want to address the challenges. The need for reshuffling ministers giving then clear targets is very important. You will engage people not just government ministers even ministry’s people should be given clear targets, they work according to the target, they access and evaluated every now and there. So clear targets is very eminent and need for reshuffling very important”. He added.
Story by: Elizabeth Kabuki Ocansey | univers.ug.edu.gh