President John Mahama has said there will be no job cuts in the public sector under the three-year $918-million deal between Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Executive Board of the IMF in April 2015 approved the three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Ghana in an amount equivalent to SDR 664.20 million (180 percent of quota or about US$918 million) in support of the authorities’ medium-term economic reform programme.
The programme aimed to restore debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth and job creation, while protecting social spending. The Executive Board’s decision enabled an immediate disbursement of SDR 83.025 million (about US$114.8 million) to the West African country. So far three tranches of the money has been disbursed. The deal ends in 2017.
Labour unions have persistently expressed fears that the deal imposes a freeze on public sector hiring and also dictates that some jobs must be cut.
However, Mr Mahama, while addressing leaders of some unions that met him at the Flagstaff House on Tuesday, said: “I wish to assure you once again that the programme with the IMF will not lead to any redundancy. It hasn’t led to any redundancy.”
“We imposed a net-freeze on public sector hiring but it does not affect the health sector and the education sector. What we have done is that as many people as leave the public sector are the same number of people we bring into the public sector and that’s a temporary phenomenon in order that we are able to get a handle on the expenditure side of the budget but with regards to the health sector and education, we are hiring even more numbers than has ever been done in their history of this country
“From 2010 to 2016, we’ve 78, 0000 teachers; this is the biggest recruitment of teachers in the history of this country. Between 2013 and 2016, we’ve hired 23,400 nurses, which is the biggest addition to the health sector in history, and, so, we are creating more opportunities for employment to take place because we are building new schools, the new schools need teachers and non-teaching staff, we are building new hospitals, CHPS compounds, polyclinics and others and that means we can recruit more nurses and other health workers, and, so, I do believe we are working in the right direction and we’ll continue to do so,” Mr Mahama added.