GhanaWeb TV



The IMF debacle under the NPP: A blessing in disguise for Ghanaians

IMF LOGO 4 International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo

Mon, 17 Apr 2023 Source: Dr. John-Baptist Naah

As the saying goes, coming events cast their shadows! Read to the end of this article to appreciate why the IMF Staff Level Agreement (SLA) that Ghana is badly looking for now is a disguised blessing.

The consequences of the unbridled debt accumulation from domestic and external Creditors by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led regime since 2017 have been clearly written on the wall.

The Minority MPs and spokespersons of the NDC including former President John Dramani Mahama and other well-meaning Ghanaians have loudly and consistently expressed their worries regarding the reckless borrowings as well as the dishonest and ‘smart’ accounting under the watch of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta. However, those genuine calls fell on deaf ears.

When the Ukraine invasion as well as the well-contained Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe, the grave weakness of Ghana’s economy was terribly exposed. Literally, the ‘anus’ of this current government has been so badly exposed to the global community.

The attribution of Ghana’s economic woes to these two exogenous factors is an overstretched argument since other neighboring West African countries have shown more economic residence than Ghana.

It was no surprise that global rating agencies such as Fitch and Moodys continually downgraded Ghana’s economy to its lowest Junk status now. This has precluded Ghana from gaining access to the international market to borrow more coupled with issues of the high budget deficit, and inadequate revenue exacerbated by the stubbornly huge government expenditure envelop.

The exclusion of Ghana from the global financial market to borrow has led to the Akufo-Addo-endorsed Ken Ofori-Atta’s decision to religiously implement the draconian Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) including pensioners not long ago.

A couple of weeks ago, the Parliament of Ghana narrowly passed three new taxes on the consuming public, which we will talk about on another day.

The Finance Minister once said that we are a proud nation and will do everything to avoid running to the IMF again. However, we have surprisingly run to the IMF SLA in a badly wounded economic state and now struggling to convince external Creditors for financing assurance as a pre-condition for the approval of the IMF bailout.

The current debt-to-GDP stands at an astronomical level of 98.7% with other depressingly looking economic indicators like inflation, the interest rate on loans, etc.

What would have happened with Ghana’s economic situation if the IMF SLA application were not done to more or less pull the breaks on Ken Ofori-Atta in terms of borrowing? Your guess is as very good as mine is.

Additionally, this ongoing IMF SLA deal is ensuring that this government becomes more responsible in terms of managing our economy, checking government expenditures, and exposing the self-inflicted economic rot to be fixed finally.

It is crucially vital that the government that has caused this economic mess now should clean it up before leaving office in 2025. Ghana’s economic books are tided somehow due to this IMF SLA, which is a blessing in disguise. God knows why the NDC did not assume power after the 2020 General elections.

Notwithstanding, this disguised blessing of going for the IMF bailout now will be short-lived if Ghanaians are not awakened to making sure that Ken Ofori-Atta and his team do not repeat their previous ‘SINS’ and continue on a borrowing spree. Ghana deserves better!

Columnist: Dr. John-Baptist Naah
Related Articles: