Mark Badu-Aboagye

The Chief Executive of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Mark Badu-Aboagye is warning that businesses in the country risk collapsing as result of increasing cost of doing business.

The warning comes in reaction to the increase in utility tariffs.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) on Monday, August 16, 2022 announced that Electricity consumers will pay 27.15 percent more whilst water users have to make do with 21.55 percent increment.

The new tariffs will take effect from September 1, 2022 and will extend to 2025.

But speaking to Joy Business, Mr. Badu-Aboagye said the current economic condition does not permit government to continue burdening businesses.

Describing the situation as harsh, he pointed out that businesses were expecting moves that will reassure them—not a further increase in their cost of production.

“If we continue increasing the cost of production for businesses, it will get to a time they will fold up and ask their workers to go home. The unemployment rate will get worse,” he lamented.

Mr. Badu-Aboagye argued that with the current situation of Ghana’s macro-economic indicators, government is expected to be sensitive to businesses.

“There is a likelihood that a lot of businesses are going to run at a loss. Businesses are expecting policies that would rather bring some relief as inflation and interest rates go up. The tariff increment is going to raise the cost of production in the country”, he said.

Providing some recommendations, Mr. Badu-Aboagye appealed to government to engage businesses regularly to understand the current challenges faced by the private sector.