General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has asked the President, HE Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to dispense with the services of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and also disband the Economic Management Team (EMT) if he wants to end the suffering of the masses through the International Monetary Fund (IMF’s) intervention.
He says failure to take that action will result in Ghana being forever stuck in an economic doldrum should the IMF even provide the country all the monies in the world.
The government announced on Friday, July 1, 2022, that it had decided to engage the IMF on a balance of payment support because of the global economic meltdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Those crises have resulted in high inflation, fuel price hikes, and depreciation of the local currency and eroded the country’s foreign reserves and buffers.
Speaking on Okay FM‘s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ program, he laid the country’s dire financial situation and current state of economic paralysis by the NPP government on the doorstep of the Finance Minister and the EMT.
” . . Ghana received lots of support from the World Bank and other benevolent institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic, I, therefore, find it absurd to hear people say that COVID-19 and the Ukraine-Russia war have contributed to the poor performance of the country’s economy.
“Anyone who can defend NPP’s decision to go to the IMF for a bailout with this inexplicable analysis can defend Satan in Heaven. . .
“The Finance Minister has run out of ideas and the way he is handling things now you will need fresh blood to manage the finances of the country and be able to put the economy in good shape.
“The vice president, HE Dr. Mahamoud Bawumia who also heads the Economic Management team looks tired and frail to even generate fresh ideas for the economy. And since the president has taken this bold decision to go to the IMF, they need a more resolved team to lead the affairs of the economy and even engage the IMF for a good deal to be struck as the country seeks financial bail,” Asiedu Nketia proffered.
The NDC General Secretary further asked the president to be ready to cut down on frivolous expenditure to enable him to reserve more money for other infrastructure because the country cannot continuously depend on IMF for support and bailout.
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Akufo-Addo orders Ofori-Atta to go to IMF
President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has instructed the Minister of Finance to commence official engagements with the International Monetary Fund(IMF).
This was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Friday, July 1, 2022.
According to the statement, the Finance Minister has been instructed by the President to seek IMF’s support for an economic program put together by the government of Ghana.
“The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorized Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to Support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana,” the statement said.
Among other things, the ministry of information says the IMF support will provide “balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and recently, the Russia-Ukraine crisis.”
This new development comes as a twist to an earlier position by the government on the possibility of an IMF bailout.
In the face of growing economic hardships, several critics including the opposition National Democratic Congress and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had implored the government to seek an IMF bailout.
But in several instances, the government insisted on going to the IMF while touting several homegrown policies as remedies to the current situation.
The Minister for Finance Ken Ofori-Atta, in January 2022 described an IMF bailout as disastrous to Ghana.