Dr. Agyapomaa Gyeke-Darko, a lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), has advised the government against overspending in the upcoming election year which can pose a threat to the prudent measures being put in place to revamp the economy.
“With the exception of 2004, the country has always recorded budget overruns in election years under the Fourth Republic due to governments’ penchant for engaging in spending beyond the fiscal targets,” she pointed out.
Dr Gyeke-Darko expressed worry that the gains that would be made in the ongoing processes to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme could be derailed if the current government repeated the history of fiscal indiscipline exhibited during election years.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the 2023 Leadership Series, she acknowledged that even though in 2004, the country did not record a budget overrun, subsequent election years had shown worrying trends that depicted a bad pattern that could be replayed in 2024.
“Apart from the 2004 election year, the government did average of around 8.1 per cent, so I do not see anything is going to be different next year because if you track the data, you will see every election year, we overspend which is a threat to all the actions the government is taking with regards to our fiscals.
“The government should properly and practically adopt and adapt to the principle of burden sharing to encourage citizens to cooperate with the government on its fiscal policies and austerity measures as well as send a positive signal to the investor community,” Dr Gyeke-Darko advised.
She stressed on the need for clear commitment, dedication and determination from the part of the government by downsizing the number of ministerial appointments to send signals to the citizenry to make a difference and also send good signals to the investor community so as not to derail the gains to be made in the IMF programme.
“We need to see clear commitment, dedication and determination from the part of the government so I thought when some ministers resigned the government was going to use the opportunity to downsize the number of ministers we have but some people said it will not make any difference but this will send good signals to our investor community,” Dr Gyeke-Darko postulated.