IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe, has called on the Finance Ministry to address concerns that government shared different sets of macroeconomic data with Ghanaians and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Speaking on The Big Issue, he stressed that there was no need for partisanship in the matter because “these are figures and facts.”
The Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide has insisted that the government did not present different sets of data to Parliament and the IMF.
But Mr. Cudjoe feels the Deputy Minister’s explanation has not adequately addressed the brewing controversy.
He held that Mr. Hadzide “was quite incoherent in trying to explain away the contortion, confusion and contradiction. So I thought that there must be some real response from the Finance Ministry because this is a serious matter.”
The disparities, which were highlighted by fact-checking organisations, where in the GDP Deficit, Primary Balance, Current Account Balance and Gross International Reserves figures.
They came to the conclusion that different sets of data were presented because of information coming from the IMF following the disbursement of a $1 billion credit facility upon a request for financial support to the government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Also commenting on the matter on The Big Issue, is the Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, who said the concerns required clarity from government.
“This kind of revelation should elicit calls… for our government to be forthright with us and to reconcile the figures that we have in the budget and the figures that we present to the IMF.”
The fact the Fiscal Responsibility Law may have been breached was also of concern to the legislator because in 2019 for example, fact-checkers indicated that the GDP deficit in the budget statement was 4.5 percent whilst the data from the IMF indicated that the deficit was 7.5 percent.
Because of this, Mr. Suhuyini said: “I see the Finance Minister, if the figures on the deficit are correct, as a candidate for prosecution [because of the Fiscal Responsibility Law].”