A former NDC Parliamentary Candidate aspirant for the Sefwi Wiawso Constituency, Sam Jerome has berated the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for securing a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Ghana, a debt-ridden West African country, has received $600 million from IMF.
The amount, received on May 19,2023, is the first tranche of the $3 billion three-year extended credit support for Ghana from the Bretton Woods Institution.
Although the government believes the bailout will help balance the country’s economy, Jerome, a member of the NDC national communication team, disagrees.
He wondered why the NPP and government officials would jubilate over an IMF credit support facility when they demonised the programme during the Mahama administration.
Speaking on Dwaboase on TV XYZ, Jerome stated that the Akufo-Addo government lacks credibility and must not be taken seriously by well meaning Ghanaians.
According to him, the Akufo-Addo government, since 2017, have benefitted from improved revenue and a lot of resources to develop the country without loans.
Jerome argued that upon all the natural resources and their proceeds bequeathed to Akufo-Addo, his cousin– the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta– recklessly borrowed into unsustainable debt levels only to turn to the IMF he spoke against for credit support.
He said the revenue accrued from the donations to combat COVID-19 were misused by the NPP government.
” The 22 billion the country had to combat COVID-19 was misused. But let me say this, if all these funds the government had could not solve any of the challenges in the country then there is no justification for the NPP government to run to IMF,” he told host Prince Minkah.
“After COVID, if you check the 2021 Budget Statement of the government, the country’s revenue increased from 48 billion cedis to about 51 billion. In a nutshell the government had much funds from taxes and other sources like COVID-19 support so there’s no justification for them to go to the IMF,” he added.
To him, the incidents that preceded the NPP’s ascendancy to power and what the government is doing are opposite of what the NPP promised Ghanaians.
Jerome wants the residents of Kumawu to vote against the NPP on Tuesday, where a by-elections occasioned by the death of their MP Phillip Basoah, is expected to take place.
Meanwhile, an economist and senior lecturer with the University of Ghana, Dr. Patrick Assuming, has predicted that severe hardships await Ghanaians in the coming months following a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Dr. Assuming believes the conditions attached to the credit facility will make Ghanaians experience more hardships than what they are currently facing.
“ When you study the programme’s document, you will come to the conclusion that it’s really the start of a difficult journey, rather than an end to our problems. We have been to IMF 17 times, it seems to me that this particular programme is the one that will impose probably the heftiest hardships on Ghanaians,” Dr Assuming said on The Big issue programme on Citi FM.
Dr. Assuming charged the government not to rest on its oars but to ensure that structural changes are effected to move Ghana away from further severe economic crisis.
“If you look at the prior actions we have had to take in order to get here, you can readily tell, starting with the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDEP), you can tell the impact of the DDEP on financials of the banks. What we hope is that if we are paying this kind of hefty price, by way of what the DDEP has done, and the new taxes that we are going to pay… Ghanaians and businesses are going to pay a huge chunk aside from what we have already done, ” he added.