From my observations of the Partial Lockdown on the first day, I think the security officers that have been deployed on the streets are taking this thing a little too far and out of context. Some of them are behaving as if this is a coup d’etat.
Please, the police is not there to scare people, shout at them or whip them. They are there to ensure that there is law and order and ensure that there is no mass gathering of people at one spot where the disease can be transmitted,period.
In my view, the security has no business shutting down food joints and provision shops if the people are not crowded, and ask people on the streets to go home and stay indoors when they are not crowded at a particular place. If the security has been given such orders, I think it must be reversed because it is wrong and maybe counter productive.
I saw some security patrol teams doing exactly what I have described in the neighborhood of Accra Newtown, Kotobabi, Alajo and its environs. If we continue this way we will hurt our economy badly and beyond repairs.
Listening to the Finance Minister in Parliament on Monday, March 30, 2020 as he gave an update on the Fiscal Impact of the COVID-19 on Ghana’s economy, he mentioned that the estimated 6% plus GDP target for the year 2020 will be affected and under the partial lockdown, it is expected to reduce to 2.6%. But if it moves to a full lockdown where there is a total shutdown of economic activities, then it is likely to further go down to 1.6% or even into the negatives.
So my friends, let’s not make our case even worse than it is already. The government is not endowed with all the resources to provide the needs of all the 30 million Ghanaians if we all decided to stay indoors not to engage in any economic activity at all.
If we really paid attention to the Finance Minister on Monday, we would have realized that our economy is too fragile and does not have the luxury to spare any extra cash for such things.
When the government that made a lot of capital and fanfare about the decision to exit the IMF, is contemplating going back there for help then we should know that we are not in normal times.
And when the Finance Minister is tinkering with the idea of dipping into the Heritage Fund from our petroleum proceeds meant for future generations, then we should realise that the flesh has got to the bones and it would require wits and tact to keep body and soul together.
Let’s be conscious of the times and be the citizens the President admonished us to be and not spectators. God Bless us all and bless our Homeland Ghana.
Source: Clement Akoloh
The writer is the Editor of Africanewsradio.com