US-based Ghanaian economist and lecturer, Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu, has cautioned Ghanaians, particularly those on government payroll, not to engage in unnecessary spending during this Christmas and New Year festive season.
According to Dr. Iddrisu, due to the economic crisis, the government might struggle to make prompt payments in the upcoming months.
He said that for this reason, there is a need for Ghanaians, especially those employed in the public sector, to be circumspect about their spending during the festive season.
He stated that people need to save the little they have for the near future because it is highly possible that the financial difficulties in the country might worsen.
“Government may soon start struggling to pay salaries, considering the level of financial difficulties the country is currently in due to the reckless over-borrowing and mismanagement by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Economic Management Team.
“I am therefore cautioning you to be mindful of your spending this Christmas and New Year season. Do not be a spendthrift during the holidays as times may become harder next year.
“The government’s hope is on the $3 billion IMF loan facility which doesn’t seem feasible at the moment until the government debt restructuring program is able to bring down the country’s debt to GDP ratio to the range of 25% to 55%.
Currently, the total public debt of the country is more than 460 billion cedis, and more than 76% debt to GDP ratio,” he said in a zoom lecture on the state of the economy.
Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu also urged public workers not to put their hopes on attracting salary increments in the coming year, or on the payment of arrears because the government does not have the financial muscles to make such commitments.
The Economist reiterated, “Again, do not put your hopes on any salary increment or payment of arrears at the moment, as it will be impossible for the government to do so. The country’s debt will continue to soar as corruption keeps swallowing internal revenue generation processes, including borrowed funds.
“The more you come to the realization that the NPP government has mismanaged the economy, the better it will be for you to cut back on your individual spending as citizens during this yuletide, so as to have some savings to fall back on when payment of salaries starts to delay,” Dr. Iddrisu concluded.