Former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu says the Akufo-Addo government has deceived Ghanaians by extending the country’s credit facility programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Despite claims by some government officials that the programme was going to be reviewed when it expired in April 2018, President Akufo-Addo in July this year President Akufo-Addo discounted the possibility of extending the programme, stating “The IMF programme is not going to be extended”.
But the government on Wednesday reached a consensus for the programme to be extended by a year in view of the facts that the country failed to meet most of the targets set under the 3-year programme.
“The review is a very big deal and it represents a major deception on the part of the government,” Mr Ofosu Kwakye said on TV3’s New Day magazine show on Monday during the newspaper review segment hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh.
He argued the decision by the government to extend the programme was not surprising because the Akufo-Addo government knew what it was doing as regards the programme, even before it was elected. “On the 29th March 2016 during a public lecture at the KNUST, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia described the IMF Programme as a sham.
In July 18 2016, President Akufo-Addo said the IMF Programme will not be continued. In Jane 17, 2017, Dr Anthony Okoto Osei explicitly said the IMF will not help Ghana”, he recalled.
He, however, said on January 20, 2017, the senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, said the IMF programme would be reviewed hence whatever excuses the government has been giving as the basis for the extension is untenable.
Mr. Kwakye Ofosu added that “if you say the IMF deal is a sham and we have multiple NPP functionaries say it will be reviewed, then they knew what they were doing and saying.
“The NPP demonized the IMF Programme and the fact that they have extended the programme means they have not managed the economy well”, he argued.
But in a sharp rebuttal, the Member of Parliament for Effutu in the Central Region, Alexander Afenyo Markin, said “the NPP never said we’re going to suspend the IMF should we win. “What we did was to criticize the government on certain grounds because they had all the natural resources and they have abused it.
They had the oil money and were still going for loans”, the MP explained. He added: “we are in government now; we have inherited the programme and realized that certain parameters must be completed to help us”.
Mr. Afenyo Markin said if there is a policy change, obviously the government needs to change its position, adding “it wouldn’t be unusual if it serves the best interest of Ghana”.
The Executive Board of the Fund on April 3, 2015, approved the 3-year facility to Ghana under which the country was expected to receive 918 million dollars. Ghana has so far received a total of 464.6 million dollars.
Among other things, the facility seeks to help Ghana restore its debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth and job creation through agriculture and infrastructure investment while protecting social spending.