A number of activities led many citizens in Ghana, young and old, to exhibit their displeasure with the current conditions in the country. These actions were obviously fueled by the shortage of petrol in the capital, Accra and other parts of the country. Other factors which made Ghanaians a lot more dissatisfied were the exit of the nation’s football team the black stars following the airlifting of $3 million cash, an action which not only shocked the people whose moneys had been transported, but International media as well.
A hashtag #OccupyFlagStaffHouse quickly gained momentum and popularity among social media users in response to a call for a demonstration at the lawn of the seat of government, the FlagStaff House. The article written by Festival Godwin Boateng, was calling on all concerned Ghanaians to be at the front lawn of the Flagstaff House at 6am, to demonstrate against hard economic times in Ghana, corruption in the public service, incompetence of current government, and unwarranted increases in utilities.
On Tuesday 1st July, which incidentally would be a day Ghana would celebrate its Republic Day, the nation would see an increment in major commodities and the introduction of Value Added Tax on 32 non-core banking services. These services include current accounts (foreign/local) – corporate bodies only; bank draft (payment order), stopped cheques, returned cheques, commission on turnover (corporate bodies only), overdraft processing or renewal fee, revolving acceptance credit, arrangement fee for facilities, statements and certificates of balance and clearing charges.
Others are cheques for collection, standing orders, telephone banking, safe custody, cheque books, sale of cheque leaflet, replacement of lost cheque book, debit cards and credit cards, revolving credits, collateral management, transfer of documents to other banks, guarantees/bonds/tender/performance, request for forex drafts, outwards transfer: swift/telex and drafts/money orders for customers.
Also affected are travellers’ cheques, drafts, cheque lodgements (for corporate bodies and third parties only), evacuation fee (cash-in-transit), unpaid standing order, closure of accounts, remote banking services, lending fees, other loans, letters of credit (imports) and documentary bills for collection (imports).
According to experts the above form more than 80% of services rendered by major banks in Ghana. Electricity is due to go up by 12% and water by 6% come July first. An analysis of the hashtag shows a good number of people on social media are dissatisfied with the economic situation in the country currently. The question on everyone’s mind is will the activism on social media translate into physical action on 1st July?