The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has called on the National Commission for Civic Education to intensify education in local dialects for the public to appreciate what it is being done by the government to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Director of ISSER, Prof Peter Quartey, as a result of a lack of education, traders in the country have taken advantage of the situation to make more than a hundred percent profit.
In Prof Quartey’s view, the decision is a rational one to a development they do not understand and are uncertain of. He thus refused to lay the blame at the doorsteps of the traders for increasing the price of goods during the viral outbreak.
“For lack of information or understanding, people behave rationally if you think you’re going to be on lockdown and they say there is going to be a shortage, as rational human beings you try to stock as much as you can. It is a demand and supply issue and so although the goods are there, the sudden increase in demand is what the traders are taking advantage of…So it is a rational decision in my view and I don’t think anyone should be blamed,” he added.
Prices of goods such as hand sanitizers, food items like gari and bread have shot up by more than 100 percent in some parts of the country since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Infuriated by the development, consumers have called on the government to control the prices of goods and services.
Recounting Ghana’s coup history, Prof Quartey said the curfew and shortages that took place during those periods are lingering in the memory of those who encountered it and are trying to avoid such situations from recurring, a reason there has been a rush to stock up on food and other essential items.
He also believes “people are avoiding confrontation with the law enforcement agencies and so would rather stock and observe what will go on in the coming days. If our law enforcement agencies are professionals, people will realize that this is not a total lockdown and that food and other things will be available, gradually things will ease off and go back to normal.”
“If we allow goods to flow freely, we will solve the supply problem,” he stressed.