The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) is predicting challenging times for businesses in 2023, saying, the debt exchange programme will limit businesses access to credit.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Mark Badu-Aboagye, therefore, wants the government to engage all stakeholders before taking a decision, else “the people [stakeholders] will fight back”.
He expressed unhappiness about the way the debt exchange programme has been handled by the government, saying, “I sit back and I wonder whether we just sleep and come out and we come out and do some of these things. The consultation was basically very poor”.
Continuing, Mr. Badu-Aboagye said “everybody in Ghana knows the situation that we found ourselves. In one way or the other, we’re trying to help all of us come out of this bad situation, but you [the government] don’t impose certain conditions on people [investors] that will affect their activities like what we are having. When you do that the people will fight back; the labour unions they fought back, they have been able to achieve something”.
“The banks someway somehow the regulator [Bank of Ghana] is managing the situation – they are trying to find a way out of this. The stabilisation fund that they [government] have established, I don’t know to what extent is going to help in resolving this particular issue. So credit to the private sector definitely in 2023 is going to be affected and that will affect the activities of businesses”, he explained.
He further said that Ghana’s only hope in getting the economy back to life now hinges on the International Monetary Fund.
“The debt exchange is one of the conditions set outs under the IMF and we need the money from IMF; that’s the only way out of this difficulty. If we don’t get it for the economy it will be worrying”.
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