"Single Spine, power rationing..." are responsible for Ghana's challenged economy- Terkper
 
Posted on: 2013-Nov-04        
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Government has attributed the challenges facing the Ghanaian economy to four main factors - implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), the eight months long land mark Election Petition, power rationing and the global slump in gold and cocoa prices.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Tekper, made this admissions in a conversation with Dr. Charles Wereko Brobby on Tarzan’s Take on Multi-TV.

He observed that over the past three years government has had to make huge ‘payments on wages as a result of the migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure’. This invariably led to delays in payment and disbursement of most statutory funds.

According to him payments to contractors who worked on various projects for government, supply of goods and services have all suffered some form of delays as a result of the huge wage bill government had to clear, following the implementation of the SSSS.

This he said explains why the state is still in arrears in the payment of statutory funds to respective institutions.

The Minister said since government relies on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to inform it on how much revenue has been collected on its behalf over the period, and in turn verify all the claims submitted to it, government is often about a month or a quarter in arrears in disbursing the required fund to the respective institution.

Seth Terkper acknowledged the challenge encountered in the energy sector over the period as one of the biggest headaches of government. He was unenthused that ‘the breach in the supply of Gas from Nigeria’ that was initially ‘supposed’ to have just taken a month to resolve ended up ‘lasting for a whole year’.

This compelled government to ration electricity supply, he said.

In effect, the attendant effect on individuals, businesses, industries and organizations trickled down to the current unimpressive state of the economy, which is attracting lots of hue and cry from citizens.

The election petition in which the opposition NPP challenged the election and swearing in of President Mahama as the legitimate president-elect in the 2012 presidential election to an extent, as estimated by the Finance Minister, ‘kept investors hesitant’ towards the economy.

This implies that, the confidence level in the economy was uncertain for investors to come or continue doing business until the final adjudication of the matter.

The slump in gold and cocoa prices was also perceived as a contributing factor to the ailing economy.

He was quick to add though that it will be completely erroneous for anybody to conclude that all is gloomy, adding, in spite of these challenges the economy grew at a projected rate of 7.4% ‘ against the global crisis, domestic factors, regional performance and that is not bad at all.