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Mahama tackles IMF: 'Bad govt policies caused economic slump'

BY: Graphic Online
Former President John Dramani Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has questioned the assessment of the current state of the Ghanaian economy by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva.

According to Mr Mahama while it was a relief to hear Madam Georgieva "reaffirm the commitment of the IMF to support the people of Ghana in these perilous times", it was "incontrovertible" that the "bad policies" of the government had contributed to the economic slump.

He said policies such as "the botched, insensitive and dubious cost in closing down locally owned banks, unbridled levels of corruption and lack of accountability including the mismanagement of COVID-19 funds, unconventional borrowing practices riddled with opaqueness and conflicts of interest, resulting in an unsustainable debt envelope, costly, experimental and untested programmes", could not be ignored in understanding the current dire state of the Ghanaian Economy.

He said if these points were disregarded by the IMF and other international diplomats, they were likely to make a " wrong diagnosis and prescribe inappropriate remedies".

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"While the norm in international diplomacy of being guarded in what one says is appreciated, comments by high ranking officials must be grounded on facts that take into consideration local realities and opinions," Mr Mahama posted on Facebook.

"The incontrovertible fact is that Ghana is in a mess due to the BAD POLICIES of this government, which have contributed massively to the dire state of affairs.

"International diplomats must consider these facts and not just ignore them; lest they make wrong diagnosis and prescribe inappropriate remedies".

He further advised international diplomats to reflect local realities when speaking about the Ghanaian economy.

"The Ghanaian economy must be managed first for the Ghanaian who lives and experiences it daily, not just for an international audience".

What the IMF boss said

Madam Georgieva, made the comments on the Ghanaian economy in a closed-door meeting with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on September 5, 2022, on the sidelines of the Africa Adaptation Summit, a conference on climate change, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Describing Ghana as a “superb country”, Ms Georgieva said the country’s current economic challenges were not locally generated but were as a result of external shocks.

President Akufo-Addo (right) in a hearty chat with Kristalina Georgieva

She said contrary to some narratives that Ghana found itself in the current situation due to the bad policies of the Akufo-Addo administration, the factors were exogenous.

“Like everybody on this planet, you have been hurt by exogenous shocks. First the pandemic, then Russia’s war in Ukraine. We need to realise that it is not because of bad policies in the country but because of this combination of shocks and, therefore, we have to support Ghana,” the IMF boss said.

IMF deal

Ghana is before the IMF for US$3 billion to help the country navigate through the hostile economic crisis in which it finds itself as a result of the adverse effects of the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Already, a delegation from the IMF, led by the Mission Chief for Ghana, Carlo Sdralevich, has visited Ghana and held initial discussions with the Ministry of Finance on a possible IMF-supported programme.