Ghana will need over GH¢15 billion for a 28-day lock-down, policy think tank, Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation, has stated.
Executive Director for the policy think tank, Peter Bismark, who disclosed this on Adom FM’s morning show Dwaso Nsem Thursday, said when the country goes on lock-down, businesses must be compensated and this also calls for both critical fiscal and monetary measures.
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They have, therefore, outlined eight suggestions the government could depend on for a lock-down:
1. Government must meet all the relevant business associations including the manufacturing firms to deliberate consciously on production capacity and job loss.
2. Insurance companies cannot remain same with our insurance premiums during lockdowns. Government must meet the Insurance commission as early as possible so that insurance companies could make readily available partial payment to their clients to support them in times of the panic. They should also provide exclusive premiums to their clients to support government health interventions.
3. Salaries of workers should not be subjected to full tax deductions. At least 50% tax refund.
4. Ghana water company should consider opening taps for those who are owing bills. More water needed for hand washing and the that cost should be factored too.
5. The ministry of food and Agriculture through the Buffer Food Stock should develop an outline to supply food to underpriviledged homes.
6. The government should support companies in Ghana (both local and foreign) to change their structure of production to produce some essential goods to avoid shortage during the lockdown.
7. GRIDCO, VRA and ECG must ensure there is continuous supply of power since most institutions would be working from home. Tariffs on electricity and electricity should be reduced.
8. There are people who don’t even have a place to get locked inside. Ghana has a housing deficit of over 1.5 million. Therefore, the government must advance plans to shelter some millions of Ghanaians in hotels, motels, and guest houses among others.
As a policy analysis organization, we make these proposals based on a careful study of other nations which have implemented lockdowns due to COVID19. And we believe that these measures should suffice, though not completely, in helping manage the situation of a lockdown.