Former Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, has urged the government to go for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, saying it will benefit the economy.
According to him, the government must act fast with the IMF option before the economy gets worse.
Dr. Duffuor said during his tenure as finance minister, he took the nation to the IMF, adding that the economy was not bad “as it is now and the cedi depreciated by only 60 pesewas.”
“There is no problem with the IMF programme, and unemployment has come down. The fear is that if we get into the IMF programme, they will not let us employ citizens. But this depends on what you negotiate; we were employing people in the health sector and the education sector.
“Otherwise, unemployment could not have dropped to 2.2. Otherwise, the cedi could not have been so stable for over four years, and our economy could not have grown so high. The GDP was first class,” Dr. Duffuor disclosed.
However, the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana said the government must negotiate wisely.
“I don’t think the problem is with the fund per say, but the nature of the programme must be looked at carefully. You have to negotiate properly.
“Because right now, yes, the economy has done well at 5.5% GDP growth even though we were expecting more than that. The budget deficit was supposed to be 12%; inflation is above 27% plus. The cedi since January has gone down by 15%, and our debt to GDP ratio is also not good.
“IMF can’t destroy our economy because during my time we were under the IMF, and our growth was the best,” he added in an interview on Starr FM, monitored by The Ghana report.
The government has firmly maintained that going for an IMF programme is not an option, even though analysts have made several calls to consider it.
Commenting on this earlier, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the consequences of going for an IMF programme are dire. Hence, the government will look within the economy to raise the needed revenue.
“I can say we are not going to the IMF. Whatever we do, we are not. Consequences are dire; we are a proud nation, we have the resources, we have the capacity. We are not people of short sight, but we have to move on. So let’s think of who we are as strong proud people, the shining star of Africa, and we have the capacity to do whatever we want to do if we speak one language and ensure that we share the burden in the issues ahead,” he said.
Consequently, the government passed the Electronic Transfers Levy (E-Levy), which has courted national controversy since its announcement in the 2022 Budget.
The 1.5% levy has taken off, with the government hinting at giving an account in the next national budget and economic policy.