President Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation on Sunday night urged Ghanaians to pay taxes to help the government meet its revenue generation targets.
The President who was speaking to Ghanaians for the first time since the chaos caused by the depreciating cedi and the rising inflation that has seen prices of food items and others go up by over three to five times pleaded with the traders to be mindful of the margins they add to goods in a bid to cushion their capital against unplanned price increment.
He admitted the increasing cost of living in the country and explained the factors that have driven it that far, putting the blame on increasing fuel prices and the devaluation of the cedi against the dollar things he said are a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
“I know that the increasing cost of living is the number one concern for all of us. It is driven by fast escalating fuel prices at the pumps, which is caused by high crude oil prices on the world market and our depreciated currency. I know that this is putting intolerable pressure on families and businesses. I know that people are being driven to make choices they should not have to make, and I know that it has led to the devaluation of capital of traders and painfully accumulated savings”.
He said, “Government is working to secure reliable and regular sources of affordable petroleum products for the Ghanaian market. It is expected that this arrangement, when successful, coupled with a stable currency will halt the escalation of fuel prices and bring relief to us all”.
On the contributions of market women to the current situation, he said, “I hear from the market queens also that another factor fueling the high prices is the high margins that some traders are slapping on goods, for fear of future higher costs. I say to our traders, we are all in this together. Please let us be measured in the margins we seek. I have great respect and admiration for the ingenuity and hard work of our traders, especially those that take on the distribution of foodstuffs around the country, and I would hesitate to join in calling them names. I do make a heartfelt appeal that we all keep an eye out for the greater good, and not try to make the utmost profits out of the current difficulties.
“In language that every market woman and, indeed, every trader in our country understands, let me say that the basic problem we face is that we are not making as much money as we need to spend, and what little money we do make is going to pay for the debts we have contracted to fund the development projects we must have. Not enough of us are paying our taxes, not enough of us are producing to generate the revenues that we need,” he stated.