Ghanaian employers are threatening to lay off more workers this year given the prevailing economic conditions in the country.
President of the Ghana Employers Association, Terrence Darko, in a press briefing in Accra said employers will have to lay off more workers if the negative macroeconomic environment continues.
“Cost of borrowing is currently as high as 35% in most cases. This means, it is close to impossible to get access to credit for expansion, not only to employ more people but to retain old staff. Legitimate businesses are struggling to compete with counterfeiters and piracy, as illegal companies do not spend money on research and innovation” he stressed.
Government has increased borrowing on the domestic market, therefore competing with domestic businesses for available credit.
Mr. Darko says the situation is crippling access to credit for the private sector.
“Banks consider government less- risky to lend to as compared to private businesses, making it difficult for us to acquire to credit. Yet government expects us to keep hiring. How can we do that under these economic conditions?” he asked.
In a related development, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research in 2015 revealed in their report on the Economic Effects of Energy Crisis on Ghanaians revealed that over 1 million jobs were lost to the energy crisis and other related economic conditions between 2014 and 2015.
Experts say the situation still remains negative and may lead further retrenchments.