Don’t touch the Heritage Fund – Okyeame Kwame

Musician and enterpreneur, Kwame Nsia-Appau popularly known as Okyeame Kwame has waded into the national discussion on the Ghana Heritage Fund. In an interview with citifmonline, he said the solution to Ghana’s current economic problems is for Ghanaians to ‘strap our boots tight’ and ‘kick out what is causing the problem.

’ “I am not an economist but I know the Cedi is dancing to this tune because we import toothpicks and noodles. We import everything, we import cars, we import planes, we import everything but there are things that we know how to do here in Ghana like make clothes, shoes, watch straps, we know how to weave baskets, we know how to farm cassava and we import $540 million worth of rice into Ghana. When I say ‘kick them out’ what I mean is we need to try as much as possible to reduce expenditure on importation.

We need to create demand for locally made products, hence boost the Ghanaian economy. I don’t think it is rocket science.” According to Okyeame, the Ghana Heritage Fund is meant for the future generation and should not be spent on the mistakes we are making in managing the current economy. “The problem with Ghana is with lifestyle. We spend more money to learn how to speak English, wear suits and eat rice.

If we tried as much as possible to eat kontomire and purchase more local stuff, we would be helping the economy. If we change our lifestyles slightly, this economy will export to other parts of the world. Taking money to support a lifestyle that takes your money away is not the best to do. We must change or adjust our lifestyles so that we can only import things that we need to import and if it happens like that from my layman’s point of view I don’t think we would go into funds we have saved for our great grandchildren.” The Ghana Heritage Fund was established by law to provide an endowment to support the development for future generations when the petroleum reserves for the nation gets depleted.

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has suggested that government must consider using the oil revenue reserved for future generations in the Heritage Fund to solve Ghana’s problems now. Asiedu Nketia’s suggestion has received support from a section of the public, some bodies and Minister of State in-charge of Finance and Allied Institutions, Fiifi Kwetey – and has received stiff opposition from a section of the public, the minority in parliament and Sydney Casely-Hayford, A Financial Analyst.

By: Kojo Akoto Boateng/ –

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