IMF programme will check govt’s reckless conduct – Mahama tells US Ambassador

Former President John Dramani Mahama has told the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer that the programme that the Akufo-Addo administration is seeking under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will check what he believes is the government’s reckless conduct.

The 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) told the Ambassador that government has been wasteful in the utilization of Covid funds.

He also said the government took poor economic decisions, leading to the severity of the economic woes of the country.

Speaking in a meeting with Ambassador Palmer in Accra, Mr Mahama said “Confidence will only be restored when people know that we are in a programme and that the government will not behave as recklessly as it did in the past.

“We have been very restrained in our opposition because we know the seriousness of the situation. We have been very generous in giving advice about what they should do. But this is a very arrogant set of people who would not want to act like they took advice from somebody else. They have this mantra, we have the men. Unfortunately, the men don’t seem to know what to do.”

Meanwhile, the Director of the IMF Kristalina Georgina has attributed Ghana’s prevailing weak economic conditions to shocks from the Covid pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war.

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According to her, shocks from the two unforeseen factors have heavily impacted the economy and are to be blamed for the country’s woes and not “bad policies” said to be implemented by the government.

“Like everybody on this planet you have been hurt by exogenous shocks. First the pandemic, then Russia-Ukraine. And then the we need to realise is not because of bad policies in the country, but because of this combination of shocks,” she added.

The IMF Director added that Ghana, as a strong country in the sub-region, ought be supported by the IMF to bounce back because the strength of Ghana impacts positively on neighbouring countries.

“And therefore, we have to support (Ghana) because you’re a member. You’re a strong country, you have fantastic people, but also we have to support Ghana because your strength contributes to the strength of your neighbours. It contributes to a stronger world,” she told journalists at the ongoing Africa Climate Change Adaptation Summit.

Speaking further on the anticipated IMF deal with Ghana, she noted the IMF is determined to have a deal with Ghana by the end of this year.

“I am very determined for us to indeed reach an agreement by the end of this year,” she quipped.

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Ghana is seeking to raise some $3billion Balance of Payment IMF support programme to help resolve some of its immediate economic challenges.

The government began discussions with the Bretton Wood institution in July 2022, reversing President Akufo-Addo’s administration pledge not to seek a financial programme from the IMF.

Prior to the pandemic and later the Russia Ukraine war, Ghana’s economic outlook was highly rated as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

A gradual sign of recovery from the effect of the pandemic at the end of 2021 was hit by another unforeseen setback, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a war which has significantly ravaged economies around the world with many global currencies registering unprecedented depreciation against the US Dollar.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana