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IMF programme will inject discipline in economy - Former President Mahama

BY: Dickson Worlanyo Dotse
Former President John Dramani Mahama (left) with Virginia E. Palmer, the US Ambassador to Ghana
Former President John Dramani Mahama (left) with Virginia E. Palmer, the US Ambassador to Ghana

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme will ensure discipline in the government’s handling of the economy.

“Confidence will only be restored when people know that we are in a programme and that the government will not behave as recklessly as it did in the past,” he said.

Mr Mahama said this in a discussion with the American Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer, at his office, on matters of mutual interest to Ghana and America.

Issues raised during the discussions included the current state of Ghana’s economy, regional security and its implications for Ghana, review of the Constitution, investment in local industries and the strained relationship between his party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Electoral Commission (EC).

Poor economic decisions

Touching on the economy, the former president noted that Ghana’s economic woes had been compounded by the missteps of the government, poor economic decisions, the collapse of indigenous banks and financial institutions instead of saving them, corruption and the misappropriation of COVID-19 funds.

He said the government had almost GH¢30 billion in COVID-19 relief support from internal and external sources like the IMF and the World Bank, adding that “a huge amount which was more than sufficient to handle any crisis if the money had been used well and not abused.”

Restraint

Mr Mahama also stated that his party, the NDC, had shown a level of restraint in their criticism of the government because they understood the seriousness of the situation the country was facing.

He, however, stated that the current administration had refused to take any form of advice from either him or his party.

“We have been very restrained in our opposition because we know the seriousness of the situation. We have been very generous in giving advice about what they should do,” he stated.

Commendation

Earlier, Ambassador Palmer congratulated President Mahama on his book ‘My First Coup D’etat’, which she said gave her a good insight into Ghana. The book, she said, was well written, adding that she recommended it to others who wanted to know about Ghana.