Profligate spending led Ghana to IMF – Bentil

Vice President of Imani Africa, Mr Kofi Bentil has noted that the Government of Ghana is seeking support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a result of profligate spending.

He stated that the government has been engaging in unnecessary expenditure, leading to the economic hardships that Ghanaians are saddled with presently.

“Profligate spending, unnecessary expenditure, have led us to the IMF,” he said at an Imani-GIZ forum in Accra on Wednesday August 24.

Mr Bentil further indicated that there is the need for the government to listen to concerns raised by Civil Society Organizations regarding how the economy is being managed.

Regarding the IMF move, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assured the people of Ghana that his administration would negotiate a good deal under the Fund.

He said a deal that will ensure they the economy is developed more than it it is today will negotiated for.

“We will negotiate a good deal, a deal that will allow us to build a strong economy that we had before,” he said at the delegates conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday July 6.

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.

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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.

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“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.

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

By Laud Nartey||Ghana