Let’s own our economy after 65 years of independence – GUTA

Dr Joseph Obeng, President of the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA), says the time has come for Ghanaians to own the local economy to ensure national development and prosperity for every citizen.

He noted that for the past six and half decades, the country had not done much to make its citizenry command an appreciable stake in its resources, with expatriates dominating essential sectors of the economy.

He said this as the country marked 65 years of gaining independence from its British colonial masters.

The country marks its Independence Day on March 6, every year to honour the heroes who led Ghana to gain self-rule.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Dr Obeng said: “We have to harness our resources and own them because if you look at Ghana’s economy now, it’ been over dominated by foreign entities; the expatriates have taken it all.”

He explained that that situation had contributed to difficulties with foreign exchange as the local currency (the Cedi) continued to depreciate against its major trading currencies, particularly the dollar.

“This is because we do not have serious investments that will make sure that we have some retention of these resources, therefore, these resources are repatriated together with the proceeds.”

To reverse the trend of foreign domination of the economy, he called for an intentional national drive to ensure that: “The juiciest part of the economy like the extractives (oil, gold, and bauxite), we have domestic stake in terms of investment.”

He added that: “We must make conscious efforts to ensure that shares are floated for the indigenes to buy, and in that case the profits will be retained…”

Dr Obeng, while calling for a binding national development plan, said, the country’s destiny was the duty of all citizens, as such Ghanaians had to hold Governments accountable.

“It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that the political parties abide by the national development plan,” he emphasised.

On trade, he said the current global economy had reached where countries relied on the strength of one another but warned against continued dependency on the West.

He noted that: “When there’s over dependence on foreign aid, then your independence is compromised. It means that you’re being taken care of by other countries, and that’s where the problem is.”

Source: GNA

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