Minority leader: Ghana can’t present programme to IMF by end of March
The Minority Leader, Dr Cassie lAto Baah Forson, has projected that Ghana will not be able to present its programme to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board by end of March, as claimed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He said conditions that Ghana must ensure to secure the IMF deal,were yet to be met.
President Akufo-Addo, presenting the message on the State of the Nation (SONA) in Parliament, on March 8, expressed optimism that Ghana would present to the IMF executive board its US$3 billion bailout programme, having secured a staff level agreement late last year.
“We are on course for the IMF Staff to present to the IMF Executive Board Ghana’s programme request for a $3 billion extended credit facility by the end of the month,” he noted.
But DrAtoForson, who is Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam, winding up the Minority’s debate on SONA, was of the view that “Ghana will not be able to get the IMF Board approval by the end of this month, because even the Board documents have not been prepared.”
He said “There are terms we need to meet and this is what we call financing assurances. We need to get China to give Ghana financing assurance that they are ready to accept a haircut.
“Aside that, we are also expected as a country to get financing assurance from the Paris club, including Germany, who are telling us to go and cut down the size of our government and reduce government expenditure yet we don’t seem to care”.
The demand by Germany, DrAtoForson said, was the motivation for the decision not to support the approval of new ministers so as to free financial space for the government.
He said “That is why we are saying that we will not approve new ministers. That decision is nationalistic and not in the interest of one person. We do not hate anyone here. We are doing this for the people of Ghana.
“If the President is not ready to act, someone must do so for him and we are ready to do that for him because until that is done, Germany, which is a major member of the Paris Club, may not give us the financing assurance for the purposes of going to the IMF Board.
“We also need to engage the Eurobond holders to get financing assurances from them but as we speak, we have only informed them that Ghana is going to restructure its debt.”
According to the Minority Leader, the Akufo-Addo government has “deteriorated the living conditions of Ghanaians by poorly managing the ‘healthy’ economy it inherited from the John Mahama-led administration in 2017.”
He said “the government has made the Ghanaian poorer. The cost of living has deteriorated significantly coupled with the depreciation of the local currency and the rate of inflation we have not seen for a very long time.
“The true state of Ghana is that transport fares are the highest, food and energy prices are up astronomically because between last quarter 2022and now, they have increased energy tariffs by 59 per cent.
“Cost of doing business has skyrocketed due to increase in interest rate making businesses to struggle to borrow at 40 per cent,” DrAtoForson said and added that thereis little to show for the over GHC800 billion resources the government has received between 2017 and now.”