Ghana: Institute Policies to Address Country's Reliance On Imports - Dr Amoah

A Finance and Investment Consultant, Dr Stephen Amoah, has said policies must be instituted to promote local production to reduce the country's reliance on imports.

"We must change the import driven economy chorus we have been singing for multiple of decades. The change must be done by all stakeholders," he said during the maiden Financial Economic Seminar-Ghana 2022 programme in Accra on Monday,

The programme chaired by the former Rector of GIMPA, Professor Emeritus Stephen Adei, was on the theme "Identifying and Redefining the Economic Fundamental of developing countries: Anomalies and challenges-The case of Ghana."

Dr Amoah advocated competitive loan regime to enable manufacturing firms increase their production.

He said banks should prioritise investment in the private sector to help address unemployment in the country.

Dr Amoah who is also the Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso, said government securities in any well-developed economy and efficient market do not offer higher rates than comparable ones by the private sector on the same market.

He said returns from risky investments were made up of risk free return on the market plus premium to compensate for investing in risky portfolio, but in Ghana, often governments' securities offered higher rates than the private sector returns.

That, he said, contradicted the general principle of the higher the risk the higher expected returns in investment, noting that at present, Treasury bill rates on the Ghanaian market were between 22 and 24 per cent while the banking industry rates were averagely 11 per cent.

Mr Amoah said banks in Ghana accordingly invest in government securities far more than the private sector ones between 56 per cent and 70 per cent.

"The resultant effects are that private sector which creates value chains and create employment opportunities do not have access to adequate funds. The limited funds they can access through debt financing are always very high," he said.

According to him although Ghana was a double-digit interest rate economy, the private sector could expand to produce to meet aggregate demand compelling us to import almost everything, because of ritually weak currency.

"The Ghanaian companies besides cannot expand to deal with the unemployed situation in Ghana because governments compete with them at higher rates. It is crystal clear that governments cannot create jobs to meet the fast growing demand. Industries in Ghana will continue to underperform their benchmarks so far as the situation is not regularised," he said.

Prof. Emeritus Adei urged policy makers and government to adopt pragmatic policies to revive the economy.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

X