Make prudent use of second tranche of IMF cash – Mahama tells Akufo-Addo

Source The Ghana Report

Former President, John Dramani Mahama has urged the government to judiciously utilize the recently approved $600 million IMF bailout to ease the economic challenges facing Ghanaians.

The cash hit the Bank of Ghana’s account on January 23, 2024, sources indicate.

The disbursement, approved by the IMF Executive Board on January 19, 2024, follows Ghana’s successful completion of the 2023 Article IV consultation and the first review of the 36-month Extended Credit Facility arrangement.

Expressing concern about the persistent hardships faced by Ghanaians, Mahama emphasized that the Akufo-Addo-led administration must ensure that the funds are used judiciously to bring relief to the suffering citizens.

Despite the release of the first tranche last year, Mahama contends that Ghanaians continue to endure difficulties.

“Under normal circumstances, the release of $600 million by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the government of Ghana should provide relief to the already overburdened and suffering Ghanaian. It is, however, evident that Ghanaians will continue to suffer as long as the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia and NPP remain in office,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

In the social media communiqué, Mr Mahama highlighted the potential impact of the incoming Value-Added Tax (VAT) on electricity consumption, warning that it could increase tariffs, leading to higher prices for goods, services, and transport fares.

“Implementing VAT on electricity consumption will increase tariffs by almost 21% and exacerbate the hardship on Ghanaians. This will affect the prices of goods, services, and transport fares. I agree with organized labor that the government must reverse its decision to start collecting VAT on electricity consumption.”

While acknowledging that the NDC is ready to address Ghana’s economic challenges and provide relief upon assuming office in January 2025, Mr Mahama stressed the importance of responsible and cautious handling of the IMF funds.

He further encouraged the NDC minority in parliament to exercise strict oversight and scrutinize the government’s actions.

“I have already encouraged the NDC minority in parliament to ensure strict oversight on both the government and not to take their eyes off the Bank of Ghana that illegally printed billions of cedis and aggravated our economic situation.”

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