Many were caught in disbelief when the President, Nana Akuffo Addo announced the decision to lift the ban on movement within Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi, and the Tema Metropolis. Several calls from some section of the Ghanaian population to have the ban lifted had seemed the prime reason for unlocking affected cities. Speaking at an event held at the Jubilee House, Mr. Ofori Atta noted that the Government could not sustain the economy in lockdown beyond the three (3) weeks period observed across the cities affected.
He explained that the informal sector dominates the Ghanaian economy, and thus, people needed to go out to make a living. Mr. Ofori Atta backed his claims by stating that about 23% of the Ghanaian population earn below $400 a year which is a contributing factor to the difficulties the populates faced during the lockdown period. He acknowledged that the Government had no option onboard but to unlock the cities so that persons affected could go about their usual economic activities but not foregoing protocols put in place to check the spread of the pandemic.
In his address, he also touched on the positives that have been revealed by the lockdown. He noted the exposure of some vulnerabilities as a result of the locked-down which has extended responsibility to Government to go beyond the usual in search of resources to help the people go about their routine economic activities. However, he noted that the Government is putting in viable monetary and fiscal measures to help correct the adverse effect the pandemic and lockdown had left on the Ghanaian economy and its populated.
Mr. Ofori Atta also stressed on Government’s initiative to provide relief to support households and businesses. He further noted that the country is about observing its lowest decline in economic growth in 37 years – indicating that the economic growth of the country will decline to 1.5% from 6%. World economies are facing several declines in growth, and this comes as no surprise to Ghana, as various significant revenue and economic decisions have mainly been affected by the global pandemic.
Petroleum prices have dropped significantly on the world market, and this, forming part of governments major revenue source, will affect revenues of the Government. Taxes affected in the same stream. Mr. Ofori Atta, however, noted that the global pandemic is estimated to cost Ghana GHS 9.505 billion.