It’s barely a year since Ghana exited an extend International Monetary Fund (IMF) Credit Facility aimed at restoring Ghana’s debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth.
But credible information reaching theindepedndentghana.com has it that, Ghana is back to the fund pleading for a loan to combat what could be a catastrophic spread of a global pandemic, Coronavirus.
According to IMF’s African Department director Abebe Aemro Selassie, the fund is evaluating the request for consideration.
“Last week, the IMF received Ghana’s request for a disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility to help the country address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working hard to evaluate the authorities’ request and bring it forward for Executive Board consideration as soon as possible.” Says a statement posted on the IMF website.
Though it’s unclear how much is being requested, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to present nothing less than $100m to parliament for approval.
Speaking to theindepdendentghana.com on the development, Former Finance minister, Seth Terkper says this is another humbling fiscal and economic management experience, similar to pledge not to borrow.
He added that this should serve as a lesson to the nation not to “exit” IMF Programs without preparing for shocks and our economic managers should have known that simple fact.
“Countries go to the Fund when the times are bad, not when it is good. Anyone can do that. Fund loans are to support the Central Bank, which means the cedi is in trouble (we are losing forex reserves)”
Mr. Terkper has in series of write-ups questioned government unusual treatment of exceptional amounts in the budget were well tested fiscal rules for exceptional expenses were sidestepped.
In one of such articles, Mr. Terkper wrote that, President Akuffo-Addo directed payments to depositors affected by the banking crisis but the 2020 Budget has no provision to pay such substantial bailout costs. Also government offset some GHC5bn from the 2017 budget without actual payment.
These practices and more he intimated created false economic consolidation and indeed, Mr. Terkper feels vindicated after the IMF Board’s Statement on the 2019 Article IV consultations called for the correction of parallel numbers on the economy, as presented in the 2020 Budget.