Presidential Candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2024 general elections, John Dramani Mahama, has stated that the party’s proposal to create a conducive atmosphere for a 24-hour economy to thrive is a well-thought-through idea.
Political opponents have largely criticised the idea saying it is not a novelty, and cannot transform the Ghanaian economy in any way.
On the other hand, some have lauded the proposal as one that could be a game-changer for Ghana’s economy.
Many of those against it believe aspects of Ghana’s economy already operate a 24-hour system, whereas others argue the country lacks the right infrastructure to efficiently run such a system.
But speaking at the 9th Ghana CEO Network Business Cocktail, the former President insisted that the idea is a game-changer because it has been well thought through.
He pledged that the next NDC administration will pursue projects and programmes to transform Ghana into a fully-fledged 24-hour economy by optimising available resources.
He said the 24-hour economy forms part of the NDC’s vision to build the Ghana We Want and will be premised on building an industrialised, inclusive, and resilient economy that creates well-paying jobs, creating an equitable, healthy, and prosperous nation, developing well-planned, safe communities while protecting the natural environment, building effective, efficient, and dynamic institutions for national development; and strengthening Ghana’s role in African and international affairs.
“The 24-hour economy may have finally resonated with Ghanaians. It may be classified as an idea whose time has come due to Ghana’s self-inflicted economic crisis today because the 24-hour economy initiative was well-thought-through and captured on page 105 of the NDC’s 2020 People’s Manifesto.”
In explaining fully how the policy will work, Mr Mahama said it would be critical to dealing with the triple problems of a financial crisis, severe unemployment, and unprecedented levels of corruption that threaten the stability of Ghana’s democracy.
“Without an economic revamp, we cannot hope to make any mark in our massive unemployment crisis, which is leading many of our young people down the road of despair. Research shows that unemployment, unavailability of jobs, poverty, high cost and poor living conditions are issues of grave concern to many Ghanaians.
“I remain optimistic about the Mahama 24-hour economy initiative. In a rapidly advancing global economy, in which countries worldwide are gradually drifting and adopting 24-hour economies to remain competitive and attract investments – Ghana cannot be left out.
The 24-hour economy is a game-changer for the Ghanaian economy. It will benefit your businesses, employment and the enjoyment of the youth who are seeking jobs. We shall vigorously pursue the 24-hour economy, amongst many other initiatives, as part of our broader vision and determination to increase economic growth, create jobs, and improve the quality of life of Ghanaians. We shall work with you to build the Ghana we want together,” he noted.
The former President also promised that a future NDC government would be committed to stringent enforcement of prudence and fiscal discipline in public financial management by cutting expenditure and “significantly reducing the number of overlapping agencies and amorphous creations of this NPP administration.”
According to him, “there is no substitute for prudent financial management.”