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The rising fuel prices in Ghana was exacerbated by the geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine. RELATED POSTS E-Levy: Response from town hall meeting not enough to pass bill – Financial Analyst E-Levy is to promote ‘political free spending’ – Prof Mensah The local currency, the Cedi has also been falling against the major trading currencies. The cedi is currently trading beyond 7 cedis to the dollar. Analysts have predicted it is most likely to cross 8. Speaking on the Sunrise show on 3FM Monday March 21, Prof Lord Mensah said “This economy is suffering from global pressures and internally, we have our own problems.” He also noted that “Foreign investors are pulling out of our economy and that is alarming.” Following this development, importers and exporters have warned consumers in Ghana to prepare to pay more for goods and services due to the poor performance of the cedi. Executive Secretary of the association, Samson Awingobit, said members of his association have no option but to pass on the high cost of importing goods on to the consumer. Mr Awingobit earlier told journalists in Accra on Tuesday March 8 that “The business community is worried and consumers should also be worried because at the end of the day if an importer will have to go through and bring goods under this high cost rate of the dollar to Ghana cedis, 7.4 per dollar as we speak, it tells you that goods and services prices will have to go up. “That will not be well for the Ghanaian consuming public looking at the economic situation of the ordinary Ghanaian. “I strongly believe that our call that majority of our import is coming from China market and so there is no need for any Ghanaian business person to say he is travelling to China to buy goods, should be listened to. You put physical cash at the commercial bank exchanging for dollar, instead of the Bank of Ghana or the government making Chinese Yuan available. “So far as this supply is coming from China there will be no need for dollar before you go to China. I strongly believe that that is the only way to go through. So make Chinese Yuan available in the market.” Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information has announced that the just-ended Cabinet retreat held between Thursday, March 17 and Sunday, March 20 has seen tough decisions approved by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The decisions are set to be announced by the Minister of Finance later this week after meeting key social and economic stakeholders. They are to ensure a turnaround for the economy. Among the decisions is President Akufo-Addo approving a number of far-reaching measures aimed at mitigating the depreciation of the Cedi, ensuring expenditure discipline and providing relief in the face of global fuel price hikes and inflation as well as ensuring that priority programmes meant to grow he economy are protected, the Ministry said in a press release on Monday, March 21. 3news.com also gathered the retreat agreed on reopening the country’s land borders within two weeks subject to meeting all protocols.

Ukraine has rejected a Russian ultimatum offering people in the besieged city of Mariupol safe passage out of the port if they surrender.
 

Under Russia’s proposal, civilians would be allowed to leave if the city’s defenders laid down arms.

 

 
 

But Ukraine has refused, saying there was no question of it surrendering the strategic port city.

 

Around 300,000 people are believed to be trapped there with supplies running out and aid blocked from entering.

Residents have endured weeks of Russian bombardment with no power or running water.

Details of the Russian proposal were laid out on Sunday by Gen Mikhail Mizintsev, who said Ukraine had until 05:00 Moscow time (02:00 GMT) on Monday morning to accept its terms.

Under the plans, Russian troops would have opened safe corridors out of Mariupol from 10:00 Moscow time (07:00 GMT), initially for Ukrainian troops and “foreign mercenaries” to disarm and leave the city.

After two hours, Russian forces say they would then have allowed humanitarian convoys with food, medicine and other supplies to enter the city safely, once the de-mining of the roads was complete.

Russian Gen Mizintsev admitted that a terrible humanitarian catastrophe was unfolding there – and said the offer would have allowed civilians to flee safely to either the east or west.

In response to the offer, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Ukraine would not stop defending Mariupol.

“There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms,” she was quoted by Ukrainska Pravda as saying.

 

Earlier on Sunday, Pyotr Andryushenko, who is an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, vowed the city’s defenders would fight on.

“We will fight until the last of our soldiers,” he said.

He told the BBC’s Newshour that Moscow’s humanitarian promises could not be trusted, and repeated unconfirmed claims made by Mariupol officials in recent days that Russian forces have been forcibly evacuating some of its residents to Russia.

“When they [Russian forces] say about humanitarian corridors, what do they really do? They really force evacuate our people to Russia,” Andryushenko said.

 

The BBC has not been able to verify these accusations.

 

Mariupol is a key strategic target for Russia and has seen some of the invasion’s deadliest fighting.

Russian troops have encircled the city over the past few weeks, trapping its residents inside without access to electricity, water or gas.

Communication with civilians unable to leave is limited but food and medical supplies are believed to be running out and Russia has blocked any humanitarian aid from getting in.

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