The Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance Company, Ken Thompson, has criticised the government for its lack of focus on the private sector, blaming it for the closure of many multinational businesses in Ghana.

Speaking on JoyFM's Super Morning Show, Ken Thompson said that the current system for businesses is fraught with challenges the government has failed to address despite numerous stakeholders highlighting them.

“The government of Ghana doesn't care about the private sector. The government doesn't care about creating jobs. The government is only interested in governments and the people that benefit from their largesse. The government of Ghana does not listen, and anytime we complain, they reel out projects that have been done. 'We built this block, we built this garden, we built this shop'. Who cares?”

Mr Thompson noted that the business environment in Ghana is not one in which any business can thrive, adding that stakeholders' concerns are often met with irrelevant government responses.

“We're in a situation where we are living day-to-day, we cannot plan, we don't know where we invest. Our hard-earned savings are gone. And you know, nobody's listening. The government does not care. All the government cares about is spending more and more money on itself."

"So what's the consequence? Interest rates are high, you can't do business, the population is poor, so they can't spend. Infrastructure- critical infrastructure is weak; water, electricity, roads is weak. And where you can find it it's expensive,” he said.

Ken Thompson's comments follow the decision of several notable brands, including Nivea, Jumia Foods, Lipton Tea, Dark and Lovely, BET 365, Game, and BIC, to cease operations in Ghana over what they say is the precarious economic environment in Ghana.

The situation has raised concerns about the impact on job creation and economic growth.

The latest to announce the closure of its operations in Ghana is the food delivery outlet, Glovo. The Spanish firm announced last week that it will be exiting the Ghanaian market on May 10, 2024, citing profitability challenges and a reassessment of investment priorities.

This decision will not only affect the many jobs created by the firm for young and ordinary Ghanaians but also its contribution to Ghana's GDP.

These multinational firms, particularly in the consumer space, have cited the high cost of borrowing, astronomical taxes, elevated inflation, and perennial exchange rate depreciation as the major reasons for their exit. 

Meanwhile, Mr Thompson says that although some people have expressed hope that these exits will allow Ghanaian businesses to take over the space, that will not be a viable solution for the private sector.

He said Ghanaian businesses will grapple with the very issues that drove out the multinationals which have the potential to wipe out their capital.

“I'm all for indigenous businesses growing because the only companies that will develop this country, and it's all over the world, are indigenous businesses. But even if the indigenous businesses take over, we will face the same problems…If you started a business last year with GH₵100,000, it's not GH₵100,000 now, it's worth probably GH₵30,000. Who does business like this? How can business thrive?”

“The government is not interested. All it's interested in is spending, spending, spending more money. The sad thing about this is that having multinationals as part of the economy gives you credibility and attracts other people to use you. So who else is going to come and invest? And we need people to invest. Let's deal with the issues and stop going around in circles. That's the real issue. It makes me extremely angry. Nobody is listening, we're not interested in projects,... I'm interested in how I can plan, and have a framework that allows me to plan. You can't plan for more than one day, what system is this?”

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.