A group calling itself Concerned Youth of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has pooh-poohed the government’s stimulus package to support businesses and industries hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana.
The National Board for Small Scale Industry is scheduled to disburse the stimulus package to industries from May 2020, but the effectiveness of the stimulus package looks bleak, according to the group.
The group has described the GH¢600 million package as paltry, especially comparing it to South Africa’s.
According to the group, South Africa has made available $27 billion to support its economy, urging Ghana to take a cue from the size of the package to South African companies.
“Former President John Dramani Mahama being a visionary leader could have made available GH¢2 billion to support collapsed businesses and industries because he understands the effect of the Covid19 on the private sector,” according to a statement issued in Accra and signed by Edem Adzogah, leader of the group.
“If we are talking about industrialisation, ex-President John Mahama was ready to use the Ghana Exim Bank (GEXIM) to transform industries. What President Nana Akufo-Addo is doing clearly depicts that he doesn’t have the private sector in mind, forgetting that the private is the engine of growth,” the group said.
The group claims that chieftains in the private sector who have been complaining about the effect of the Covid-19 on their businesses say the government could have done much better to the private sector.
The statement said due to the way former President John Mahama structured GEXIM before his exit, it could have been running a portfolio of not less than $3 billion to transform industries in the country.
GEXIM bank currently gives support to the agro-industry, the pharmaceutical companies, SMEs among others, but the desire for the sector has still not been realised, the group noted.
The statement advised that GEXIM should consider issuing bonds on the international market to revamp the industries in the country since it was within its mandate to do that.