Ghanaian politicians are afraid of powerful domestic private sector – Economist
Professor Godfred Bokpin, an Economist, says the average Ghanaian politicians are afraid of a powerful domestic private sector because of the role money plays in politics.
He said the fear had made politicians to be more open to facilitating foreign capital because the foreigners were likely not to play a role in the country’s politics.
Prof. Bokpin was speaking at the 11th Edition of the Ghana Economic Forum on the theme:” Building a robust and resilient economy through technology, finance, investment, trade and entrepreneurship,” in Accra.
“If we have done this level of injustice to ourselves, how do we turn around and cry for going to IMF 17 times,” he added.
He said, “as a country, we have not been able to put in place the right measures and institutions that will ensure the necessary fiscal restraint and drive efficiencies.”
Prof Bokpin, who is also a Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana, said, therefore, anytime there were challenges, the country needed an external anchor, such as the IMF.
He said evidence showed that anytime the country visited the Fund, “we intent to get some level of macroeconomic stability but we are not able to sustain that.”
According to him, macroeconomic stability was not an end in itself but a means to an end and that was why nobody should expect the Fund to transform the economy.
Prof. Bokpin said the best helping hand the country could find lies in its own hands.
The Economist said economies were transformed by adding value through manufacturing.
He said until “we are conscious in growing some of the SMEs to be regional and international businesses, we are not going anywhere.
The Lecturer argued that Ghana was visibly absent in some of the lucrative sectors of the economy.
Dr. John K. Kwakye, Director of Research, Institute of Economic Affairs, said the Ghanaian economy had been vulnerable for some time now, because “we have not built economic buffers to allow us withstand these shocks.”
He said the country needed both resources and policies to advance its developmental agenda but unfortunately Ghana lacked adequate resources, while its policies had been ineffective in so many areas.
The Director of Research at IEA said the country has potential to be able to raise big revenue to fund development.
“We do not collect enough taxes not because our tax rates are low but it is because of the many loopholes and administrative inefficiencies,” he said.
He said studies had shown that of those loopholes and the administrative inefficiencies were blocked tax collection would improve drastically.
Dr Kwakye said because the country failed to raise enough revenue to fund developmental project, it turns to borrowing.