Ofori-Atta responds to calls for his dismissal or resignation over IMF

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The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has reacted to calls for his dismissal or resignation following the decision by the government to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after he dad indicated severally that the government was not going to seek support from the Bretton Institution because programmes had been introduced to tackle the challenges.

Speaking to journalists at the Accra Sports Stadium during the delegate conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Saturday July 16, Mr Ofori-Atta said while reacting to the calls that ”It is almost like telling a father to resign from his children because he has changed his mind.

“There are times that decisions have to be made for the survival of the country and therefore, if such circumstances such as Covid or Ukraine war occur which are not typical, it does change the environment.”

Some critics of the government including Former President John Dramani Mahama had said Mr Ofori-Atta supervised disastrous collapse of the economy.

In a statement welcoming the decision by the Akufo-Addo administration to head to the IMF, Mr Mahama said on Saturday July 2 that “The Finance Minister who has supervised the disastrous collapse of the economy cannot and should not be part of the team of negotiators. He has lost credibility and the trust and confidence of stakeholders in our economy.

“President Akufo-Addo must take a bold decision to replace his finance minister immediately with a more assured and competent person who is willing and able to work tirelessly to turn our almost hopeless situation around.

‘In addition, given his obvious failures, the Vice President must be relieved of his responsibility as Chair of the Economic Management Team to enable the President to reconstitute the team. We must draw useful lessons from this episode and avoid cheap politicking with the economy; that can only yield the disastrous outcomes that have brought us here,” Mr Mahama said in a Facebook post on Saturday July 2.

The government announced on Friday July 1 that it was heading to the Fund for support. Accordingly, the IMF team, led by Carlo Sdralevich arrived into the country on July 6, to meet government officials. The team concluded its visit on Wednesday July 13.

They met with Vice President Dr Mahamudu BawumiaFinance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, and Governor Ernest Addison of the Bank of Ghana.

They also met with the Parliament’s Finance Committee, civil society organizations, and development partners, including UNICEF and the World Bank to engage on social spending.

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Sdralevich issued the following statement said “Ghana is facing a challenging economic and social situation amid an increasingly difficult global environment. The fiscal and debt situation has severely worsened following the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, investors’ concerns have triggered credit rating downgrades, capital outflows, loss of external market access, and rising domestic borrowing costs.

“In addition, the global economic shock caused by the war in Ukraine is hitting Ghana at a time when the country is still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic shock and with limited room for maneuver. These adverse developments have contributed to slowing economic growth, accumulation of unpaid bills, a large exchange rate depreciation, and a surge in inflation.

“The IMF team held initial discussions on a comprehensive reform package to restore macroeconomic stability and anchor debt sustainability. The team made progress in assessing the economic situation and identifying policy priorities in the near term. The discussions focused on improving fiscal balances in a sustainable way while protecting the vulnerable and poor; ensuring credibility of the monetary policy and exchange rate regimes; preserving financial sector stability; and designing reforms to enhance growth, create jobs, and strengthen governance.

“IMF staff will continue to monitor the economic and social situation closely and engage in the coming weeks with the authorities on the formulation of their Enhanced Domestic Program that could be supported by an IMF arrangement and with broad stakeholders’ consultation

“We reaffirm our commitment to support Ghana at this difficult time, consistent with the IMF’s policies.

“Staff express their gratitude to the authorities, civil society, and development partners for their constructive engagement and support during the mission.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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