The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, has outlined a raft of strategic proposals aimed at putting the country on the right track to economic and debt recovery.
In a 14-page statement titled ‘our self-inflicted monumental economic crisis’, Togbe Afede says the economic difficulties coupled with the debt crisis bedevilling the country are government’s own doing hence, the need for a shift in the approach in dealing with the issue.
Touching on the government’s debt exchange programme, the chief described it as a wrong response to the current economic mess.
He said, the programme will destroy Ghana’s credibility and undermine the progress “we have made in the development of our capital market”.
Togbe Afede admonished the government to increase taxes on high-income earners, companies, and properties as part of revenue-generating measures.
He also asked the government to introduce taxes on income from tax-exempt government domestic bills and bond investments.
Among alternatives, the Agbogbomefia said “government could decide the following quickly, and make projections of revenue and expenditure accordingly to form the basis of a new strategy in debt negotiations:
1. Implementation of the most drastic measures necessary to rein in corruption
2. Increase taxes on high-income earners, companies, and property
3. Introduction of taxes on income from tax-exempt government domestic bill and bond investments
4. Immediate re-introduction of road tolls at much higher rates than they were in the past
5. Suspension of non-essential new capital projects
6. Suspension of funding of non-essential and unproductive projects like the National Cathedral
7. Implementation of other expenditure reduction measures to affect, among others, number of political appointments, allowances paid to public sector employees, foreign scholarships, foreign travel, vehicle procurement, and end-of-service benefits.
8. Freezing of non-essential capital expenditure by major state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and enhancement of their dividend payments to government
9. Support of private sector investment in infrastructural projects, and
10. Sale of non-strategic state assets.