September 22, 2020

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions critical for economic recovery – Adu Sarkodie

Economist, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie, says the Ghanaian economy should be picking up gradually as government continues to ease COVID-19 induced restrictions.

Dr. Sarkodie is hopeful economic activities will fully bounce back as some businesses are permitted to start operations. He however maintains the need for government to spend in critical areas of the economy to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on the vulnerable.

Government as part of efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic instituted a number of restrictions across the country.

In March, Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, were put under a partial lockdown for a three-week period  as a measure of controlling the spread of COVID-19.

The move subsequently affected many businesses as they were forced to close down. Even though the restrictions have been eased, many businesses are still struggling as recent reports by the Ghana Statistical Service show that over 70 percent of micro businesses folded permanently and temporarily during the partial lockdown.

Economist, Dr. Adu Sarkodie, told Citi Business News he is optimistic the gradual easing of the restrictions will revive economic activities gradually.

“Once we’re able to go back to church, once the number of congregations have been increased you expect more inflows for the church secretary for them to pay the pastors and other church workers. And also, I’m sure some churches were at the verge of doing some projects, maybe church buildings or school buildings”.

“Whatever investment projects they were doing, now they can continue with those things so it’s a very good idea for us. Now there’s the open-air bar then we have the visiting of tourist sites, these are all good for the Ghanaian economy so the strategy is excellent. We are fighting both the pandemic and economic crisis.”

Economist Dr. Lord Mensah on the other hand believes the easing of the restrictions could have come earlier.

“The easing of the system for me is even too late…If you look at the COVID-19 and its impact on our economy, I don’t think decision makers have even given us that room to believe that COVID-19 is impacting on our economy. If you take the budget that was read and then the review that came up recently, clearly with the projections they’ve done, for the next half of the year, it gives you the signal that probably COVID-19 is not having an impact on our economy”, he said.

Source: Business