Akufo-Addo Had No Choice; IMF Was A Must …Expert
The decision of the President Akufo-Addo government to resort to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout has been seconded by a financial expert, Dr. Felix Sackey who believes there was no other choice.
According to him, it was obvious that the government’s last hope to source funding for the 2022 budget was internal through the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) which unfortunately hit the rocks due to the controversies and misunderstanding that greeted the policy right from its introduction.
He was reacting to the public mockery and criticism of the NPP government after the announcement of an intention to seek IMF support to restore the Ghanaian economy. The NPP while in opposition had made a mockery of the John Mahama administration when they sought an IMF program in 2014/2015, describing them as lazy, incompetent, and a failed government.
But Dr. Felix Sackey in an interview with the media said the government needed to bridge the budget deficit. However, he says the only option for the government was the IMF since the E-Levy had failed while the Euro Bond did not look favourable since the economy had been downgraded.
“If you look at the budget presented by the Finance Minister and you look at the projected revenue, the only choice was to find the money right here in Ghana. But if you look at the controversy that surrounded the E-Levy, it was obvious that we had to look elsewhere for support but the government’s two main sources were the Euro Bond and the IMF but the economy had been downgraded so the Euro Bond was not a choice, so I knew we would definitely go to the IMF”, he emphasized.
Asked whether the E-Levy should be scrapped now that the IMF processes have been triggered, he said it must be maintained as a supplement to the IMF to facilitate the recovery.
Dr. Felix Sackey is urging Ghanaians to brace up for conditions that accompany an IMF program including the freeze on public sector employment, cancellation of allowances, and a moratorium on government expenditure among others as witnessed under President Mahama when they sought an IMF program.
“If possible, the E-Levy should be maintained to complement the IMF program. You see, it is a new policy and as usual, it was not going to be easy. They need to be transparent and account for it for people to appreciate the policy”.
Source: Opemsuo.com/ Kwabena Kyeremateng Addo