You can delay it but you’ll eventually go to the IMF, it’s inevitable – Amoako Baah tells gov’t

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A Political Scientist, Dr Richard Amoako Baah has said the government will need to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support to deal with the challenges facing the economy.

He said the government can only delay in the move to the Bretton Woods institution but will eventually go because the challenges are enormous to tackle without the IMF.

Speaking in an interview with TV3’s William Evans-Nkum, the stalwart of the NPP said “NPP is in trouble, we are going to the IMF whether we like it or not. We can delay it a little bit, it is inevitable. I said the same to Mahama and he rejected it but eventually, he went to the IMF.

“At the moment, we even borrow to pay salaries, sometimes you hear that public funds are missing, they are not missing, the moneys were used to pay salaries.”

A former Member of Parliament for New Juabeng South, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah had also asked the government to go to the IMF rather than relying on the proposed E-levy for revenue.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah believed that a return to the IMF would rescue Ghana’s struggling economy.

“Without a doubt, I think we should be placing a call to Washington if we haven’t really done that. We are just not going to ask for the funds just because E-levy has been passed or not. E-levy will just bring about GH¢5 billion. We are in a deep hole of our tax revenue and facing difficulties, so going to the Fund will give us some support.

“So there is nothing wrong with going to the Fund.  Ghana is a member of the IMF so what is wrong going to ask for support when we are in difficulties to go and pool resources.  If I was the finance minister, I will be convincing the President that it is about time we went back,” he told Citi.

Mark Assibey Yeboah also added that the revenue expected to be accrued from the E-levy is to ensure the economic stability government is eyeing.

He further cast doubt on the government’s ability to raise the projected GH¢6.9 billion target, saying the maximum the government can raise from the controversial e-levy is GH¢5 billion.

“The GH¢6.9 billion target cannot be realized. There are a lot of exemptions so, in my estimation, the maximum amount we can get from the E-levy is GH¢5 billion, and that is less than a billion dollars, so I do not think that the E-levy is going to be a panacea to our revenues. Going to the IMF will ensure some stability and above all, we are going to get some $3 billion”.

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia also made similar call to the government.

Asked whether President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should go to the IMF, while speaking on the New Day show on TV3 on Monday February 7, he answered “I think it is something that they have to consider. if it is the only that will take us out of this problem then the earlier the better.”

But Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta insisted that Ghana would not return to the IMF for support in order to deal with the challenges that the local economy is going through at the moment.

Speaking at the 3rd Townhall meeting on the E-levy on Thursday February 10, at the the Radache Hotel in Tamale in the Northern Region, he indicated that a return to the Bretton Woods institution will have dire consequences.

He also indicated that Ghana had the capacity to raise domestic revenue for development.

Mr Ofori-Atta who had earlier stated that the government would not go back to the IMF insisted that “I can tell you, as my colleague deputy said, we are not going back to the IMF, whatever we do we are not [going back]. The consequences are dire, we are a proud nation, we have the resources , we have that capacity, don’t let anybody tell you … we are not people of short-sighted, we need to move on,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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