Prof Ransford Gyampo is a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana

A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has called on President Akufo-Addo to consider some austerity measures, to salvage the country’s dwindling fortunes.

In an open letter on Facebook, on Thursday, the Political Scientist stated that, President Akufo-Addo has failed to meet the expectations of many Ghanaians who voted for him.

According to him, even though the President has done his best, there are still a number of challenges which need to be addressed.

In this regard, the lecturer called on President Akufo-Addo to suspend some privileges being enjoyed by himself and other government appointees.

“Reduce the size of your government now, by realigning some functionally duplicative ministries and dropping some ministers. Some proposals can be made to this effect, but a government that wants to lead by example in these hard times, should know the ministries that are a complete waste and drain on our limited resources and either realign or scrap them.

Park all the V8 Vehicles, auction some, and let the remaining be used only when appointees are traveling out of the city centers to the remote hinterlands where the real use of these vehicles may be needed. Let these appointees drive their salon vehicles to work. Let us supplant the view that, poor people are extravagant”, portions of the post read.

He also added that, “If necessary, please reduce your own salary and that of your remaining appointees by 30 percent, and reduce or completely suspend the payment of all the allowances and per diems that are given to people who already earn huge salaries (even when reduced by 30 percent).

Apart from the Presidency, please reduce or completely withdraw the fuel coupons that grant free fuel to all appointees, friends and family members, so all will buy fuel and be frugal with the little they have.

Let all appointees stay and work here in Ghana. If they have to travel, let them fly with economy class tickets. Your recent flight with a commercial airline to Dubai is commendable and must be emulated”.

To mobilise more revenue, Professor Gyampo also advised government to reinstate the scrapped toll booths with an adjustment from 50 pesewas to 1 cedi for salon vehicles, and from 1 cedi to 2 cedis for big engines.

“Scrap some of the ‘nuisance taxes’ on petroleum products to cushion Ghanaians. The 2020 Auditor-General Report suggested that we lost 12.8 billion cedis due to infractions and other irregularities committed by statutory institutions. Please quickly institute measures to ensure we don’t continue to fetch water with basket, even in these hard times”, Professor Gyampo suggested.

In conclusion, he urged the President to consider reshuffling his appointees to make room for “fresh ideas and renewed energies.”

Meanwhile, amidst the growing depreciation of the cedi and the recent increments in fuel prices, government is expected to hold a crunch cabinet meeting to find solutions to the raging economic challenges.

The meeting is expected to take place at the Peduase Lodge, from Thursday, March 17, to Sunday, March 20, 2022.

The deliberations will be chaired by President Akufo-Addo, together with all NPP MPs, ministers, government appointees, and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) leadership.

According to JoyNews’ sources, the meeting will discuss whether government should continue to push through with the E-levy Bill or resort to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the face of the current fiscal hurdles.

Confirming the retreat on Joy FM’s Midday News on Thursday, the source further said the meeting will discuss other pertinent issues relating to the country’s development.

In a tweet on Thursday, a leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Gabby Otchere-Darko also indicated that given the current deadlock on the controversial E-Levy Bill, there’s the need for a ‘national debate’ on the way forward.

“2022 began without the usual $3 billion injections of Eurobond cash. Govt’s post-COVID recovery GhanaCARES programme hinged partly on an E-levy which Parliament may not even OK.

“There should be a national debate: do we want IMF or E-Levy or both or none? Tough decisions confront Ghana”, he tweeted.