Some residents in the Western Region have expressed appreciation to the Nana Akufo-Addo led government for how it has so far handled the fighting of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They also lauded the Government for intensifying campaigns on the safety protocols, instituting safety measures to stem the spread of the virus including; the lockdowns and restrictions, and coming out with information in respect of the reported cases to avoid speculations and caution citizens, which may have created fear and panic.
They said, President Nana Akufo-Addo and his team of experts have through the prudent and competent management of the Ghanaian economy reduced the hardships on the citizens emerging from the pandemic through the implementation of reliefs and stimulus packages.
According to the residents who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, most of the measures implemented by the Government were targeted at stimulating economic growth considering that COVID-19 had begun to slow down economic activities.
In the fifth address of President Nana Akufo-Addo to the nation on COVID-19, he announced that the Government was going to bear the cost of water for Ghanaians for the months of April, May and June as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The President’s address to the nation on April 9, 2020 providing update on COVID-19 also announced a 50 per cent and 100 per cent reduction on tariffs for businesses and lifeline consumers respectively as COVID-19 special electricity relief for consumers for the months of April, May and June.
The relief commenced effectively on May 01, 2020 for prepaid customers while postpaid customers had theirs reflecting on their April, 2020 bills that was delivered by end of May, 2020.
Mr. Akufo Bekoe, a tax expert told the GNA that the government implemented certain tax measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on businesses and households like waiver of taxes on selected withdrawals from third-tier pension funds, and grant of deduction against income tax for private sector contributions and donations made towards addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extension of due dates for filling of tax returns from the standard four months to six months after end of the basis year with a grant of waiver of penalties on principal tax liabilities owed by taxpayers who redeem their outstanding liabilities by 30th June 2020.
Mr. Seth Alabire, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maniza Company said that the pandemic affected every sector of the economy throughout the globe due to slowdown in capital investment and mass layoffs of workers leading to increased unemployment.
He added that the impact of COVID-19 was felt in the country through disruptions in global supply chains, with significant supply shortages and consequent price hikes and slowdown in remittances leading to decline in production and services.
He commended the Government for instituting the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) with the objective to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small and medium-sized businesses, minimize job losses, and sourced additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports.
He expressed the hope that the offer would go a long way to cushion those looking for the best of relief on their finances to sustain their businesses and to avert job losses for employees, partners and suppliers.
Mr. Alabire therefore called on business owners to take advantage of the stimulus packages that may apply to them.
For his part, Mr. Obed Sefah Boakye, Physician Assistant at the Wassa Akropong Government Hospital commended the Government for the provision of free water and said it was expected that the intervention would give Ghanaians access to an uninterrupted supply of water since regular hand washing was one of the safety measures against the virus.
He noted that the protocols which included; regular hand washing with soap under running water, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, avoiding hand shaking, social distancing and avoiding over crowded places was the surest way to control the spread of the virus.
He urged employers to be concerned with the health of their employees by putting in place practical measures to prevent possible infection and spread of the coronavirus and called on employees to empathize with their employers and support measures proposed by their employers for mutual benefits.