Former President John Dramani Mahama has said: “I welcome President Akufo-Addo’s decision to formally engage the IMF with the view to entering into a programme under the Fund”.
“Though belated, it should mark an important step towards addressing the dire economic situation, which has left Ghanaians wallowing under intense suffering and hardships”, Mr Mahama said in a statement.
President Akufo-Addo recently directed Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to begin talks with the IMF for a bailout.
A statement issued by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Friday, 1 July 2022, said: “The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorised Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana.”
“This follows a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgievs, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund,” the statement said.
“The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia Ukraine crises
The economy has been in rough waters for some time now.
Fuel prices keep rising, the cedi keeps depreciating, inflation keeps soaring, and the cost of goods and services and keep rising.
As of March 2022, Ghana’s total debt stock stood at GH¢391.9 billion.
However, Mr Mahama said: “Beyond the announcement of engagement with the IMF, a comprehensive home-grown programme should be fashioned out and presented to the Fund for support”.
“It is imperative that a team of skilled and competent negotiators is put together to obtain the best set of measures with the Fund”, he advised.
Mr Mahama sounded a note of caution that “the Finance Minister, who has supervised the disastrous collapse of the economy, cannot and should not be part of the team of negotiators”, explaining: “He has lost credibility and the trust and confidence of stakeholders in our economy”.
“President Akufo-Addo must take a bold decision to replace his finance minister immediately with a more assured and competent person, who is willing and able to work tirelessly to turn our almost hopeless situation around”, Mr Mahama reiterated.
“In addition, given his obvious failures, the Vice-President must be relieved of his responsibility as Chair of the Economic Management Team to enable the President to reconstitute the team”.
“We must draw useful lessons from this episode and avoid cheap politicking with the economy; that can only yield the disastrous outcomes that have brought us here”.