Info Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has indicated that Ghanaians must pay for the free provision of water and electrical energy launched by the federal government in 2020 as a part of measures to curb the unfold of the novel coronavirus.
President Akufo-Addo in April 2020, introduced a free utility bundle for the weak within the nation to reduce the virus’ adverse impression following a lockdown in Accra and Kumasi .
Once more, Akufo-Addo in his 21st deal with to the nation mentioned, “With the persevering with difficulties occasioned by the pandemic, I wish to state that authorities intends to proceed to assist essentially the most weak in our society.
“Authorities will, thus, proceed to pay the electrical energy payments for our nation’s a million energetic lifeline clients for the following three months, i.e. January, February and March.”
However talking on PM: Categorical Monday, Mr Nkrumah mentioned “It was free to the individuals of Ghana on the time.”
In accordance with him, the choice final yr was as a result of the pandemic was a looming disaster and the federal government needed to improvise for the nation’s well-being.
“After we say free electrical energy it doesn’t imply that the IPP producer can also be going to say as a result of the President has mentioned free electrical energy I received’t cost for it.”
Chatting with Evans Mensah, Mr Nkrumah mentioned Ghana has spent about ¢19 billion on Covid-19 associated points and that features the aid bundle on the utilities.
“However that 19 billion cedis must be paid for sooner or later, the liabilities we’ve got incurred must be paid for,” he indicated Monday evening.
“So I’m going again to Ofoasi to clarify to my individuals why we have to be certain that all of us pay that 1% further in order that we are able to proceed to offer these companies for the individuals of Ghana to guard lives and livelihoods,” he mentioned.
This, in response to him, will assist ameliorate the financial system and bridge the hole between the nation’s revenue and expenditure.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah mentioned the hole has been widened even additional by Covid-19 including that “we’re at a degree the place you’ve got to choose.”
He famous that there’s a have to, “get our individuals collectively throughout the system to grasp that sooner or later, we’ve got to get out of this financial one-step-forward half-a step-back, generally one step ahead, two steps backwards conundrum during which we discover ourselves.
“To try this, we can’t persistently borrow our manner out of our issues, home useful resource mobilisation must be tweaked and it must be completed in a manner you could increase assets with out overburdening the individuals.”
The Info Minister advised JoyNews that “every little thing we eat on this nation is paid for.”
“If not, we are going to arrive at that graph you confirmed us earlier the place the hole retains widening.”
In accordance with him, the federal government’s determination to offer the free utilities was a strategic alternative made on behalf of Ghanaians.
He cited: “If we’re at conflict and the federal government has to decide that we’ve got to obtain ABCDEFG to go conflict and win that conflict and doesn’t essentially job the inhabitants for it as we speak and mobilises for us to attain it, it’s nicely to ensure that the federal government when we’ve got received the conflict or on a transparent path to profitable the conflict.”
He, due to this fact, noticed that failure to introduce some tax parts to resolve the issue means “we are going to get to some extent the place our financial system can’t pay for fundamental service debt, pay wedges and salaries and do issues that previous to 2016 we discovered ourselves doing.”
In the meantime, Former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson on the identical program maintains the federal government has been reckless with its expenditure.
In accordance with him, the impression of Covid-19 on the financial system just isn’t as dangerous as the federal government seeks to painting.