Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, Minority Leader, on Friday said the livelihood of Ghanaians had deteriorated significantly and that reflected the true state of the country.
“…Mr Speaker, Ghanaians have become extremely impoverished, livelihoods have deteriorated significantly, and the president has made the ordinary Ghanaian poorer and poorer, that is the true state of the country,” he said.
Dr Forson said this on the floor of Parliament during the conclusion of the debate on the Motion to thank President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered to the House on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
Parliament on Thursday, March 9, 2023, began a debate on the Motion to thank President Akufo-Addo for the SONA.
According to Dr Forson, also the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Conistuency, the cost of living had deteriorated significantly coupled with the depreciation of the value of the local currency with inflation never seen before for a long time.
“Mr Speaker, the truth is that transport fares are the highest so far. Again, food and energy prices have risen astronomically. The Energy Minister is here, the truth is that from last quarter September 2022 to date, they have increased electricity prices by 59 per cent yet this has been kept outside parliament as if nothing has happened,” he said.
Dr Forson also noted that the cost of doing business had skyrocketed due to an undeserving rise in the interest rate, making businesses now struggle to borrow at 40 to 45 per cent.
He, therefore, wondered what businesses borrowing at 40 per cent at the bank would do to make profits over 45 per cent, adding that “in fact, interest rates 45 per cent are for bonds.”
Dr Forson demanded accountability from the President and called for President and Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, to render an account of how borrowed monies had been used over the past five years.
SONA is presented in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, which states that the President shall deliver a message on the State of the Nation to Parliament at the start of each session and before the dissolution of Parliament.
It gives a highlight of the government’s key policy objectives for the coming year as well as providing information on how the government intends to address economic conditions.