Former Chairperson of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Samia Nkrumah, has appealed to government to pass an Emergency Economic Support Bill to lessen the hardships of Ghanaians who will be most affected in this pandemic.
According to her, the impact of the novel coronavirus on the economy will render many jobless hence the need for government to pass a different bill that will seek to purposefully cushion the needy and those who might lose their jobs.
Government introduced the COVID-19 Fund which aims to raise money to help the nation’s fight against the pandemic by supporting the vulnerable and businesses in the country. But the Former CPP Chairperson believes a separate fund is still needed.
Taking to her Facebook page to express her views, Samia Nkrumah commended government for establishing the COVID-19 Fund but said that isn’t enough since that fund would be used for several things which might leave the vulnerable out.
She believes having a different bill passed for the vulnerable will help support families who are in dire need of basic things during this lockdown period.
According to her, government must provide emergency food, emergency compensation to the unemployed and those who will be laid off, and other stimulus packages to those who will be most affected during this period.
“It is now time to introduce and pass an Emergency Economic Support Bill to mitigate the hardship of the most needy Ghanaians affected by the COVID-19 economic fallout. Now that we have seen the effect of the lockdown in our two major cities, we need to provide emergency food to those who cannot afford to buy food. We also need to provide emergency compensation to the unemployed or those laid off from the service industry and related sectors. Small and Medium Enterprises cannot be left out either.”
“Options such as cash payments, freezing rents, mortgages, loan repayments, utilities, and meeting urgent medical expenses, must all be considered. Our markets can also be re-organised together with our agriculture supply chain to suit this particular situation. Some of those laid off could even be absorbed into the food and distribution chain. And we need a National Food Bank now more than ever. All these measures must be urgently considered to help those in dire need and at the same time keep things running fairly smoothly,” she added.
In addition, she urged government to start producing locally-made Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to support health facilities in the country.
“Over the last few days, Parliament passed the COVID-19 Trust Fund Bill and approved the $35 million loan to finance our response to the virus. These will strengthen healthcare facilities in the country. We could also begin producing locally-made PPEs and essential goods whenever possible. Our healthcare professionals especially need to be properly protected and supported at this crucial time,” she said.