An economist and finance expert, Professor Godfred Bokpin, says Ghana should have sought help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier than in 2022.
According to him, the country’s ongoing engagements with the IMF should have been done in the last quarter of last year, when the indicators of an economic crisis were obvious.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting by Graphic Business and Stanbic Bank on Wednesday, he explained that as far back as 2021, the country’s economy has started seeing a decline.
He said back then all the symptoms of a distressed economy were apparent, and, therefore, government should have acted immediately instead of waiting for the economy to be on its knees.
“Ghana’s impending 17th IMF supported programme for me is not surprising. But what is rather surprising to me is that we made the call a bit too late. That we were going to go wasn’t surprising.
“That we made the call a bit too late, was a bit surprising”, he told moderator, Winston Amoah.
Professor Bokpin added, “And the reason I say so is that the optimal time for Ghana to have made the call for a Fund-supported programme was actually in 2021. [In] the last quarter of 2021, Ghana had met all the requirements to check in at the IMF Rehabilitation Center”.
Lamenting Ghana’s late engagement with the IMF, he expressed worry about the country’s inability to maintain fiscal discipline.
He said the reasons Ghana has been going to the IMF have not changed over the years, and, therefore, there is a need for government to take steps to address the fundamental issues affecting the economy.
The economics lecturer reiterated the need for government to cut down on the number of ministers while maintaining extreme financial prudence.
Professor Bokpin’s comments come in the wake of Ghana’s ongoing conversations with the global lender.
At the moment, the country is seeking a $3 billion bailout to salvage the economy.
After the move was first announced on July 1, hundreds of Ghanaians have repeatedly criticised the government for going back on its previous assurances, never to take the country back to the IMF.
Scores of citizens have also been calling for the resignation of the President over the mismanagement of the economy.
The latest public outcry was expressed when some aggrieved citizens poured onto the streets last week in a protest which was dubbed the “Ku Me Preko Reloaded demonstration”.
Meanwhile, government says the move to engage the IMF has become necessary due to the harsh effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Russian-Ukraine war.
Source: Ghana News