The Minister for Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, has severely criticised the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority members in Parliament for saying that the current economic hardship is a serious security threat to the country.
Speaking to journalists in reaction to the earlier press conference held by the minority, which was addressed by Mr James Agalga, ranking member of the defence committee, Nitiwul admitted that there were economic hardships in the country, but said the opposition party must partly be blamed for what Ghanaians are going through.
The Bimbilla legislator pointed out that the Minority is part of the problem Ghana is facing now because it deprived the government of revenue, with the way it went about the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).
“…But when an opposition is touting itself and hitting itself for depriving government of the needed revenue and say that yes, if we had not done that, then government would have had revenue and so we should be congratulating you for depriving government of the needed revenue, you are part of the problem of Ghana,” he said.
Mr Dominic Nitiwul further told the journalists that the economic crisis is not limited to Ghana alone and that powerful economies such as US, UK, Brazil and many others are facing similar problems.
He noted that the only countries that may not be experiencing these hardships are oil producing ones.
“Of course every country today is facing economic challenges. In fact, majority of the countries, except those producing fuel are benefiting. Go to the United States; go to the United Kingdom; go to Brazil…”
Mr Nitiwul said if the Minority has realised that the country’s security is being threatened by economic challenges, then it should work hand in hand with the government to salvage the situation.
“There are economic challenges, we accept that, and that is the reason why we say let’s all come together as a country so that we don’t go the way they are thinking we should go, i.e., the Sri Lanka way,” he said.
Minority Members on the Defense and The Interior Committee of Parliament had earlier cautioned the government on the dangers the current economic hardships pose to the country’s security.
According to them, the resultant job losses, spike in transport fares and general hardships suffered by Ghanaians is a threat to the country’s security.
Ranking Member of the Committee, Mr James Agalga, who was addressing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) indicated that Ghana will soon head in the direction of Sri Lanka if care is not taken.
“The resultant job losses, spike in transport fares and general hardship suffered by Ghanaians without doubt portends grave danger for our country’s security. If care is not taken Ghana, our beloved country, will soon be heading in the direction of Sri Lanka…”
A protest in the Sri Lanka in June this year about unprecedented economic crisis sent its President fleeing the country and eventually quitting his job.
According to report, Sri Lanka was struggling to pay for crucial imports like food, fuel and medicine for its 22 million people.
It also battled with some foreign exchange crisis and saw inflation soaring to about 50%, with food prices 80% higher than a year ago. The Sri Lankan rupee slumped in value against the US dollar and other major global currencies.
Addressing the PPC yesterday, Mr Agalga noted that, just like Sri Lanka, Ghana is also experiencing economic meltdown with inflation soaring to 37.2%, the highest the country has seen in several decades.
“Even more alarming is the country’s Debt-to-GDP ratio. The World Bank in its Africa Pulse report released in October 2022 projected that Ghana will end 2022 with a Debt-to-GDP ratio of 104%,” Mr Agalga stated.
The Builsa North legislator said that the Minority owes it a sacred duty to protect the 4th Republican Constitution hence the press conference.
He said the presser is to arouse the consciousness of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the security threats that is staring the country in the face, as a result of economic hardships, so that immediate action could be taken.