Ghana won’t extend IMF programme – Akufo-Addo

Ghana government says it will not extend its programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when it expires in April next year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured.

Government will receive 918 million dollars under the three-year programme that seeks to restore the country’s debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth and job creation.

President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party criticised the John Mahama-led government for side-stepping parliament to sign the agreement and threatened to take the government to court at the time.

In February this year, Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, claimed that government was seeking to extend the Extended Credit Facility programme to December 2018.

Earlier this week, Civil Society Organisations’ Platform on Ghana IMF programme called for an extension of the package, which it said will best serve the nation’s interest

It explained that such an extension will allow for better implementation of the structural reforms to improve the fiscal governance framework.

However, at his maiden media encounter at the Flagstaff House in Accra Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo discounted the possibility of extending the programme, stating “The IMF programme is not going to be extended”.

President Akufo-Addo said the decision by his government to continue with the programme when he assumed office was driven by ensuring ” stability and coherence to our country’s economic policy making.

“We’re committed to completing the programme,” he added, but said the 2018 budget to be presented to budget in November this year will be the last under the IMF programme.

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“That is going to be the last budget of the Ghana government under the current IMF programme…The programme is going to be completed. We will then be on our own, to be able to mobilise our own resources to confront our future,” President Akufo-Addo told journalists.

He said his government is seeking to place Ghana beyond aid so that its annual budget will not be heavily dependent on external sources.

“The concept is Ghana beyond aid not a Ghana without Aid. We are going to grow ourselves to the position whereby we are no longer dependent on external sources to finance our budget.

“We are in a situation whereby critical parts of our budget of our country require foreign grants…We’ve got to work our way out of that situation so that we can stand on our own and design our own future free from external influences.” he said.

The President expressed confidence that Ghana will be able to achieve that as it is “capable of doing so”

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana

Twitter @steviekgh_TV3