IMF Deal: Brace up for tough times ahead – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has admonished Ghanaians to brace themselves up for difficult eco­nomic times ahead as Ghana reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a US$3 billion bailout.

In a statement issued in Accra on Wednesday, Caucus Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson said the excitement that has greeted the announcement of the deal would be short-lived as the repercussions would soon set in.

“Let us brace ourselves for the full consequences of this IMF deal, which will, without doubt, bite hard on Ghana­ians, especially the youth.

“This is not a counsel of despair, but a reality that will soon dawn on all of us.”

Some of the effects of the pro­gramme, Dr Forson said would include tariff hikes which would affect every pocket and the domestic debt exchange programme which continues to bite especially pensioner bond holders.

“Suffice it to say that, the Akufo-Ad­do/Bawumia government, as part of their proposal to the IMF to secure this deal, has agreed to increase utility tariffs every three months from last year.

“So far, since September 2022, elec­tricity tariffs have gone up by a cumu­lative figure of 75.32 per cent – 27 per cent in September 2022, 29.96 per cent in the last quarter of 2022, and 18.36 per cent as announced on Thursday,” he recounted.

According to the Ajumako-En­yan-Esiam Constituency legislator, the conditions that forced Ghana to the Fund were self inflicted and that had the government listened to “wise counsel” things wouldn’t have been this dire.

“We are on record to have urged this government to seek an IMF bailout in 2021, almost two clear years ahead of this announcement date, by which time things were not this dire but true to their ‘yentie obiaa’ disposition, the Akufo-Ad­do/Bawumia government arrogantly ignored wise counsel.”

To him the economic impairment of the country worsened because the government failed to seek the bailout on time amidst denial of the deteriorating state of the economy.

“The Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government’s continuous denial over the true state of Ghana’s economy, and their strenuous attempts to shift responsibility and blame external factors has been clear from day one.

“Despite all the manipulations of the data to hide the true state of the econo­my, the real situation on the ground has no doubt subsequently compelled them to arrive at the doorsteps of the IMF like a patient in an emergency ambulance, desperate for immediate resuscitation,” he stated.

After almost a year of announcing the decision to seek the support of the Fund to restore the ailing Ghanaian economy, government finally reached an agree­ment with the Breton Woods institution with the first tranche of US$600 million hitting the Bank of Ghana.

Six other tranches, US$600 million in November this year and US$360 million thereafter every six months, are expected to shore up the foreign reserves of the country.


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