An Economist, Jelili Jerry Afolab,i has said the taste of Ghanaians for imported products, which has been a major cause for the depreciation of the cedi, is nothing new to complain about.
The situation he explained has been on the lips of our former leaders including former President Agyekum Kufour hence the need for us to walk the talk and address the challenge by cutting down on the importation of goods that could be produced in Ghana.
He was reacting to concerns raised by President Akufo-Addo on the taste of Ghanaians for imported or foreign goods, a situation noted forms part of the reasons for the yearly depreciation of the cedi.
He believes that if Ghanaians manufactured some of the many products they import and or patronised locally made goods, the local currency’s yearly depreciation will not occur.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the depreciation of the cedi touches everyone in the country and “I am thinking that our public discourse should also begin to focus much more on some of the structural problems involved in our currency. Yes, there are moments when you can fall…but there are structural problems we so far, do not articulate loudly enough in my view.
“We live in a country where we are overly dependent on the importation of things for our daily sustenance, things we can produce we continue to import them and at the same time, we don’t generate enough exports.
“That is the issue on the current account, the persistent deficit in our national income statistics on current account. That is what gives rise to the frailty or our currency,” the President said.
He was addressing a delegation from the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) led by their president, Anthony Forson.
Reacting to these comments on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm Mr Afolabi said, the rate of importation is extremely high because almost everything used in Ghanaian homes are foreign goods.
He called for restructuring of the economy and expressed optimism reduction in importation will help stabilise the cedi.
Citizens cannot implement this policy he said, adding, with President Akufo-Addo as the head, our economic management team should roll out measures towards this and be committed towards actions to resolve the challenge once and for all.
To him, the discussion and policy implementation should not be limited to the ruling government but opened to all stakeholders so we can formulate a document on the restriction on importation.
He also suggested a substitution should be made for all the goods that would be restricted and when that is done, more jobs will be created.
Mr Afolabi said going forward as a country, there are certain things about the economy you don’t politicise and some of them are currency management, security, health among others.