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S&P downgrade a step further down the road to disaster – Joe Jackson warns government

Joe Jackson121212121213133 Finance expert Joe Jackson

Tue, 9 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Finance expert Joe Jackson has warned the government to take the recent downgrade of Ghana's credit ratings seriously and not politicise it.

He urged the government to bring everybody on board, including members of the opposition National Democratic Congress, to help find solutions to the current difficulties in the country.

In an interview on TV3 monitored by GhanaWeb, Mr Jackson added that Ghana was downgraded because the government failed to show the international community that it was ready to take the hard decisions to get the country out of the current difficulties.

"We need to call a bipartisan SoS on the economy; otherwise, we are going to default on our debts; otherwise, our foreign exchange reserves are going to come to nought. And we are going to face [the] inability to export fuel, inability to import other essentials that we require and a really drastic crash in our standards of living.

"We have got to signal to the international economy and those investors who will give us money that we are serious about facing our problems. In my opinion, the budget review did not do enough. We still have the scared cards that we are not touching. We have refused to review Free SHS; we haven't taken an axe to our expenditure as we should.

"This (the downgrade) is not a surprise; this is another step further down the road to disaster. This is not something to sit down and take for granted. This is not the time to play those akin games; you play with your partisan politics. This time is crunch time for the economy of Ghana," he said.

On Friday, August 5, 2022, S&P, an American credit rating agency, pushed Ghana's debt further into speculative territory, lowering its foreign and local currency sovereign ratings to CCC+/C from B-/B.

According to a report by marketwatch.com, S&P said its outlook for the country remains negative, "reflecting Ghana's limited commercial financing options, and constrained external and fiscal buffers."

The CCC+/C rating implies that Ghana is considered a "junk" country in terms of investment, and any investor who buys a bond issued by the Government of Ghana is at a high risk of not getting their investment.

But the Ministry of Finance has said it is disappointed with the recent downgrade of Ghana's credit rating by S&P Global Ratings.

The ministry, in a statement, indicated that the downgrade was not fair because despite implementing pragmatic policies, revisions and other measures in the 2022 budget, ongoing global external developments have significantly impacted Ghana's economy.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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