Economist at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Patrick Asuming

An economist with the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) has stated that President Akufo-Addo’s message on some government flagship programmes did not reflect the true state of those policies.

Dr. Patrick Asuming said the description of policies like the One District-One Factory and the Planting for Food and Jobs as successful, is misleading.

In an interview on Prime Morning, on Joy Prime, Thursday, Dr. Asuming noted that the President should have presented the true state of such programmes rather than just stressing their impacts and achievements.

“The President spoke about how successful the Planting for Food and Jobs has been and gave some updates on what’s happening with One District-One Factory, but we all know that there are challenges. Last year, there were some challenges with fertiliser supplies and some challenges with rains not coming at the predicted time.

“The fact that we are having One Village-One Dam, and yet, when the rain delayed, it affected food production, which has subsequently reflected in the inflation numbers, it tells us that there are few things that must be addressed.

“I wish the President had touched on those rather than simply saying the programme has been highly successful, because those programmes are sound policies, but we cannot deny the fact that it has not been working as well as they could have,” he told Prime Morning Host, Emefa Adeti.

Dr. Asuming mentioned that the government failed to plan some of its flagship programmes properly before starting their implementation.

“If we knew we were going to have Planting for Food and Jobs for so many years, and he’s been in power for five years, why haven’t we developed our own fertiliser manufacturing plant? During the Covid, there were some issues with that, and now Russia.

“It just exposes us that our dependence on foreigners for some critical things have to be addressed. The whole idea that we depend on Russia for wheat flour is just not acceptable, especially when you have the Planting for Food and Jobs and One District-One Factory,” he added.

Meanwhile, he observed that “the economy needs different types of interventions to address different problems.”

According to him, the recent measures that were announced, including the passage of the E-levy, will help to shore up government’s finances and ensure deficit and debts are properly managed.

“I think this government has had a lot of programmes to help grow the real sector of the economy…the President did speak a little bit about those but not in terms of new measures or new ways to strengthen those programmes. For me, that is the area that was a little bit lacking,” he said.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo stated that despite the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 and the recent Russia-Ukraine crisis, a significant progress has been made to surmount the challenges.

“The road to recovery will be hard and long, Mr Speaker, but we have started on a good footing by accepting that we are in a difficult place, and are taking the difficult decisions that will get us out,” he assured.