Dr. Kwame Asa-Asante, a political scientist and lecturer at the University of Ghana, has encouraged the government to be open and truthful about its spending, in the wake of President Akufo-Addo’s announcement that the nation will soon borrow money on the foreign capital market once more.
Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, had earlier emphasized Ghana’s commitment to fiscal management and said that the country will not attempt to borrow money on the foreign capital market in a hurried manner.
President Akufo-Addo stated however, that even if his government is not in a hurry to re-enter the global market, it makes sense to take advantage of the market right now and save some money. He proclaimed this while speaking at the Qatar-Africa Economic Forum in Doha.
“We have positioned ourselves to be able to go back into the International market which had been a source of funding for us during the first three or four years of our government. There is no rush but obviously why not take advantage of global savings, it makes a lot of sense to me. We will try as much as possible to maintain the discipline which is required and the most important requisite for a successtul programme.”President Akufo-Addo
The first installment of Ghana’s bailout from the International Monetary Fund totaled $600 million.
In an interview about the subject, Dr. Asa Asante advised the Akufo-Addo-led-government to be transparent in its use of public finances, since honesty and sincerity are essential elements of effective leadership.
“If you’re governing a people you need to be transparent, you need to be honest and sincere about what you say. Let’s look at the issue of expenditure, people have said time and time again that government expenditure is too huge relative to certain areas. Let’s look at the issue of ministerial appointment and the size of government, all advices have fallen on deaf ears, government will not listen to it and they keep on doing the wrong things that have brought us this far.
“I don’t know whether this time around government will get the courage to do what they want to do. Because IMF, as soon as they come to your country and have a relationship with you, two things that they bring to the fore. One, resource, and two, discipline. The public talked about it but government was adamant.”Dr. Kwame Asa-Asante
He claimed that the government this time has no choice but to comply with the IMF’s demands, since doing otherwise will result in sanctions.
“There are unnecessary expenditure that we encounter in this country, waste for that matter. Auditor-General Report comes in handy to give us knowledge about what is happening. I think that this government must take steps to look at all these things and plug these holes if we want to really work within the frame work of the IMF conditionalities.”Dr. Kwame Asa-Asante
According to Richard Ahiagbah, the Director of communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo did not say that Ghana would soon return to the international capital market to borrow money.
He claims that what the President said has been interpreted incorrectly.
“President Akufo-Addo did not say Ghana will go to the capital market SOON. Interpretations of what the President said must not be construed as his,” he tweeted.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo hinted that he will soon return to the stock market. Although Ghana was not in a rush to rejoin the international capital market, which he claimed had been a significant source of income for the government, Akufo-Addo said there was a need to benefit from global savings.
Speaking on Tuesday, May 23, at the 3rd Qatar Economic Forum, he was asked why it took the Fund so long to accept the agreement. He responded, “We went in July last year and it has taken us July to May to secure the programme.”
“Usually, the negotiations with the IMF take time. In fact, the 10 months which have been involved in the Ghanaian programme is one of the fastest on record. There is a whole lot of stuff that you had to go through in terms of change of data, negotiations, and making sure that the macro indices you are looking for are in the right direction. All of these may take time, Nevertheless, it is over.
“Now we believe that it is going to provide us with the foundation for redirecting the economy, repositioning the Ghanaian economy firstly, to regain the macro stability that has been lost, secondly, to be able to have better control over important details like the interest rate, inflation and then finally, also to position us to be able to be back to the international capital market which has been a source of funding for us for the first three or four years of our government.”President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
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