President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday night responded to calls on him to address the nation on the rising cost of living and general economic crises.
The president’s prime-time speech was meant to address the economic hardship that has wiped out incomes as inflation rises to the highest in more than 30 years. It also comes amidst the cedi’s worse depreciation in recent history while fuel prices go up twice in a week for the first time since the implementation of the deregulation policy started in June 2015.
In the address, the president highlighted some of the challenges facing the economy and the remedies that the government was rolling out to tame the economic crisis.
He stated some of the interventions including the current talks with the International Money Fund (IMF), keeping with the 30% cut in salaries of his appointees and rationalization of imported goods which he said would overtime lift up the economy from the dust.
He pointed to outlier-historical- inflationary rates in developing and advanced economies as a subtle defence for what Ghana was experiencing.
Fact-check Ghana has verified the president’s claim in one such comparison and presents the verdict below.
Claim: “…In truth, however, the fact that there are petrol queues in France does not make it more tolerable that the trotro price from Kasoa to Circle has doubled in the past one year, nor does it make it any more tolerable that the price of cooking oil goes up every other week.”
Explanation : Although it is true that France is experiencing fuel shortage with long-winding queues at fuel stations, it has nothing to do with inflation.
French news portal, France 24, attributed the shortages to the strike by refinery workers, who are demanding better conditions of service as the cost-of-living of living soar.
France’s labour union, CGT, declared a strike against TotalEnergies a month ago as part of a broader action across the French energy sector.
“Three out of six refineries are currently shut down in France due to worker strikes that have cut production by 60%, equivalent to 740,000 barrels of petrol per day. The majority of TotalEnergies’ network of around 3,500 petrol stations – nearly a third of all stations in the country – are running low on fuel.
“Government figures estimate that just 19% of petrol stations are affected, with particular shortages in the north,” the France 24 report said.
From the above explanation, it is evident that the queues at fuel stations in France are not induced by inflation or the rising cost of fuel as is the case in Ghana. This makes the context in which President Akufo-Addo used the queues in France misleading.