The minority in parliament is predicting tough times ahead for Ghanaians as IMF finally approves the US$3bn bailout to the country.
In a press statement signed by the Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, following the joint presser by the IMF and officials of the Ministry of Finance to announce the deal, the minority caucus envisaged costly effects on the citizenry due to unfavourable conditionalities that would accompany the deal.
“Let us brace ourselves for the full consequences of this IMF deal, which will without doubt bite hard on Ghanaians, especially the youth. This is not a counsel of despair, but a reality that will soon dawn on all of us.”
The Minority Leader also indicated that the public would be looking for the Board document on the true state of Ghana’s economy in the coming days.
He explained that the report/document will outline the full details of the bargain between the Fund and the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia NPP government in terms of Debt Sustainability Analysis, Performance Criteria, Structural Benchmarks and the gamut of other conditionalities that have been agreed upon.
To this end, Dr. Forson announced that the minority in the coming days address Ghanaians on the contents of the report and what the IMF deal portends for the country going forward.
Further, the minority commended the tolerance of Ghanaian bondholders who have taken haircuts on their investment and returns -the pensioners who have so far been denied payment of maturing coupons on their investments and Ghanaians, both young and old, who have so far endured various painful sacrifices such as turbulent economy, rising cost of living and anxiety over how to afford the basic needs of life.
According to the minority, they advised government in 2021 to seek IMF bailout at the time they reckon things would not have been critically dire but government ignored that counsel.
The International Monetary Fund approved Ghana’s request for a $3 billion bailout over three years to support the debt-ridden nation’s recovery.
The West African economy will receive an immediate disbursement of about $600 million, the IMF said in a statement on Wednesday following an Executive Board meeting.
Ghana, long seen as one of Africa’s best run countries, has been struggling to recover from the combined effects of the global Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Despite being one of the world’s biggest producers of cocoa and the leading producer of gold in Africa, one of Ghana’s basic problems is that it does not earn enough through exports to pay for everything it imports.
This is known as the balance of payments deficit and is partly what the IMF loan is designed to help with. But that is not all.
The programme is also expected to significantly slow the rate of inflation and ensure a stable local currency. All of this will benefit ordinary Ghanaians through stable prices of basic commodities including imported ones.
It has been considered risky to lend money to Ghana, but with the new IMF programme it should mean that the country can borrow again to implement its policies.