A leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has justified the government’s decision to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund as it looks for a path of economic recovery.
In an interview on Asaase Radio on July 1, the lawyer opined that the tenure of the Akufo-Addo-led administration has been confronted with a global crisis, however, same cannot be said for the John Dramani Mahama-led NDC administration in 2015.
He stated that in 2015, the Mahama administration was benefiting from the oil revenue yet the economy had deteriorated to the extent that “they [NDC] needed the support of the World bank and the rest of it and the IMF to bring back confidence to even go to the sovereign bond market”.
“You [NDC] had new source of revenue. Thanks to President Kufuor he cleared all our debt. So you have started the process of reaccumulating debts because at the time I believe debt to GDP ratio was 40-50% so that was the situation.
“No pandemic, no supply chain issues that is affecting every country, citizen of the world. We didn’t have that. It was all homegrown. And it was a government that didn’t have grips on the economy that it had control over or supposedly was to have control over.
“So the situation for me is not the same. You cannot compare what compelled Ghana to go on an IMF programme after Kufuor in 2015 to what is happening now,” he said.
The Founder of Danquah Institute continued that “it will be difficult for me for the NDC to say we went to the IMF in 2015, you have done the same in 2022; so you are as bad as us. I don’t think so.
“If you doubt you can see international comments. Today after the decision, from the market what we are hearing is that the confidence is coming back because of the IMF announcement”.
President Akufo-Addo on July 1 ordered Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to begin formal engagements with the IMF.
In a statement signed by Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the engagement will be to invite the Fund to support an economic program put together by government.
“The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorised 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 government 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.”