The immediate-past Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, has called for a sense of urgency on the part of the government in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to him, the downgrade of the country’s economy in the latest S&P ratings further revealed the dire straits in which the Ghanaian economy currently finds itself and underscores the need for support.
Speaking to Citi News, in Accra yesterday, DrAssibey-Yeboah called on the government to intensify the pursuit for an IMF programme before the situation gets worse.
“A fund programme is not guaranteed. The IMF coming to town, and the President speaking to them, does not guarantee anything. We have seen it in the Zambian and Sri Lankan cases. There are so many examples. Ordinarily, negotiations will take between four and six months. At the pace at which we are going, it could take over eight months,” he said.
“We have to attach some urgency to the request. Most of the staff of the fund will go back to their home countries this month. If there is a burden imposed on them, some of them will stay back and work. The IMF board meets quarterly, the next meeting will be in October, if we do not conclude negotiations before then, they can’t act on our request until the next board meeting which will be next year,” he said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded its initial mission to Ghana as part of an invitation for the fund to assist the country stabilise and revitalise the economy.
It is the 18th time Ghana is going to the IMF for support.
The current move for Balance of Payments support followed the closure of the normal avenues for money since the rating agencies did their numbers on Ghana in 2021.
An IMF staff team led by Carlo Sdralevich visited Accra from July 6 to 13, 2022, to assess the current economic situation and discuss the broad lines of the government’s Enhanced Domestic Programme that could be supported by an IMF lending arrangement.
The IMF team met with Vice President DrMahamuduBawumia who is the head of Ghana’s Economic Management team, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison.