The Majority in Parliament says Ghana may be fined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for wrong figures provided by the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
The caucus says its investigations have revealed that the country overspent its 2016 budget contrary to claims by the immediate past president, John Mahama, that the country will stay within budget expenditure “in an election year”.
Speaking to Onua FM’s Omari Acheampong after a press conference in reaction to Minority’s response over the missing GH¢7 billion as claimed by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Dr Mark Asibey Yeboah said as per the recent revelations, government spent over GH¢16 billion beyond its revenue in 2016.
He said the figure represents 11 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), a marked departure from an earlier figure of 9.5 per cent given by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
According to him, in 2000 when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over from the NDC, wrong figures had been given to the IMF over the country’s economic disposition, leading to the slapping of a $39 million fine on Ghana.
That could happen again, he suggested. The Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament said an IMF mission is already in town to review Ghana’s three-year extended credit facility.
“We will provide them with the [correct] figures and I am sure they will tell everybody what the current situation is.”
Vice President Bawumia on Tuesday revealed that Ghana is to pay GH¢7 billion due to budget deficits between 2014 and 2016.
This was debunked by the Minority on Wednesday. Speaking on the Minority’s behalf, Cassiel Ato Forson, a former Deputy Finance Minister, said the details of the expenditure of the GH¢7 billion are captured in the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
Mr Forson, MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, said Dr Bawumia should have requested the information from the state institutions instead of rushing to the media with what he did not know.
But Dr Yeboah says some state financial organizations do not report on data that reflect correctly represent the state of the country’s economy.