For a government that said on several occasions that it would not go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finally decide to do so, means the economic situation is dire, a Financial Analyst, Mr Joe Jackson, has said.
On Friday July 1 President Akufo-Addo gave instruction to Mr Ofori-Atta to commence the engagements with the IMF following a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund.
The Ministry of Information announced this in a statement.
Prior to this announcement, Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta had said repeatedly that the government was not going to the IMF.
It was his view that the government had put in place measures including salary cuts and others, and also programmes to deal with the fundamental issues affecting the economy hence no return to the IMF.
He said these when he was asked by an expatriate journalist whether Ghana would consider going back to the IMF, at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, May 12.
He said “All the white folks are just interested in us coming in the IMF programme. I always wonder why.
“We are members of the fund; there are two major points of interventions that we have from the fund. One being the advise that we get because of the phenomenal expertise that the fund has and then secondly, these programme interventions which bring us some resources.
Prior to this, he had indicated the decision not to go to the IMF during the Townhall meetings on the e-levy.
At the 3rd Townhall meeting on Thursday, February 10, at the Radache Hotel in Tamale in the Northern Region, he indicated that a return to the IMF would have dire consequences.
“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.
Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Martin Asiedu-Darteh on the News @10 on Friday, July 1 in relation to the decision to head to the IMF, Mr Joe Jackson said “We all expect the IMF to say, you have to cut expenditure significantly. When those proposals come, where will the expenditure cut be? There may be some route to begin, but I am prepared to cut expenditure in this area and not in that area.
“Some of the options may be politically more palatable than others. Whatever it is, there is going to be a lot of pain. You can’t get out of the situation we are in today without pain.”
He added “In fact, if you think about it clearly, this government knew exactly what the political fallout will be of going to the IMF, they had said categorically over and over again that we will not go to the IMF. They had postured and said with the e-levy, we don’t even need to go to the IMF.
“Of course, all these haven’t happened so what it should tell each one of us is this, the situation must be dire, the situation must be tough, the situation must be so tough that we are prepared to take the political fallouts because there is no other option.
“Today is not a day of victory for those of us who said the government should be going to the IMF a long time ago, today is a day of sadness because today marks the reality that the situation is really tough.”