Hon. Yaw Osaafo Maafo yesterday provoked an important national conversation which would be worth re-visiting. For us, doing so would be in the national interest, especially if done without political lenses as is the case with similar critical issues bordering on the health of the economy.
At a time the falling value of the Cedi is defying all the interventions in the arsenal of the apex bank, Bank of Ghana, many Ghanaians are surprised at the confusing signals about the status of personal dollar accounts in our local banks.
A few weeks ago, worrying signals were transmitted to the effect that customers holding dollar accounts are going to have such monies converted into the local currencies compulsorily.
The story provoked anger among not only customers holding such accounts, but a broad spectrum of Ghanaians who understand fiscal matters.
In its usual fashion of denying stories which provoke public uproar, government distanced itself from the story, rubbishing it as a fabrication, baseless and unfounded. Many of us were not surprised at the reaction anyway.
The new directive obviously emanating from the apex bank, and therefore government, is without doubt a replacement of the earlier one which suffered a congenital fatality.
What is clear under the prevailing fiscal circumstances in the country is that government is hard-pushed for a solution to the challenges being suffered by the stressed local currency. Those in charge appear to be ready to hold on to any semblance of a solution to the fiscal challenges of the country.
In his useful intervention, Hon Osaafo Maafo, Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Economic Committee and one with vast knowledge about such matters, questioned the rationale behind the measure.
Charging customers for holding dollar accounts as a replacement to the failed intervention of a few weeks ago, according to his line of argument, falls flat in the face of sound fiscal debate and would need to be reviewed in the interest of the nationâ€™s economy whose poor health is not in doubt. We could not agree more with his stance, especially as we recall the poor bill of health of the economy.
Fiscal matters are beyond propaganda and should therefore not be left in the hands of the propagandists at the Information Ministry who would make a mess of it.
They are already at it, hurling verbal scum at the Honourable gentleman with all manner of insinuations for daring to raise his voice against something whose repercussions would do us more harm than good.
We are all in the boat of state and should therefore conduct ourselves in a manner which would steer us away from the choppy waters and rocks.
Such directives have the tendency of discouraging Ghanaians in the Diaspora whose contribution towards the foreign exchange kitty of the state is mostly beyond compare.
There was one particular year in which such remittances overshadowed our receipts from the sale of our cocoa on the international market.
Unfortunately however, such remitters are already having second thoughts about the status quo and could be considering alternatives which are anything but in the interest of the nation.
What economic sense can be adduced to support such a directive at a time savings by Ghanaians is not on an encouraging pedestal?
Let those in charge of such matters take another look at the directive as they did the earlier one, because the effects would be counterproductive.