President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has instructed the minister of finance to commence official engagements with the International Monetary Fund.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Friday, July 1, 2022.
According to the statement, the finance minister has been instructed by the president to seek IMF’s support for an economic programme put together by the government of Ghana.
“The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorised Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to Support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana,” the statement said.
Among other things, the ministry of information says the IMF support will provide “balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and recently, the Russia-Ukraine crisis.”
This new development comes as a twist to an earlier position by the government on the possibility of an IMF bailout.
In the face of growing economic hardships, several critics including the opposition National Democratic Congress and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had implored the government to seek an IMF bailout.
But in several instances, the government insisted against going to the IMF while touting several homegrown policies as remedy to the current situation.
The Minister for Finance Ken Ofori-Atta, in January 2022 described an IMF bailout as disastrous to Ghana.
“When we were in the IMF programme, we couldn’t pay for nurses and teachers,” he said; “we couldn’t hire any more because there were restrictions on that. I mean, it’s just really thinking you can go back to Egypt.
“In a way, we have forgotten how difficult and tenacious that master from Washington was.
“So, we can deal with them for them to give us advice but we need not ever get into an IMF programme [again]. If we don’t do this E-levy, we’re just pushing ourselves in a way that would potentially end up in such a disaster,” Ofori-Atta said.
The minister was speaking at a government townhall meeting on the controversial Electronic Transfers Levy (E-Levy) which was outlined as one of the homegrown policies.
- Below is the full statement: