- News that Ghana is planning to sign up for an IMF programme has been met with surprise by Ghanaians
- In the past, president Akufo-Addo, Dr Bawumia and other top members of the NPP have dismissed the possibility of going to the multi-lateral institution
- YEN.com.gh compiles some of the unfavourable comments from members of the current administration about IMF programmes
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The decision by the Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme for the struggling Ghanaian economy has triggered memories of their initial stance.
Ghanaians have expressed utter surprise following news that the president has directed Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to begin formal engagements with the IMF for an economic programme.
The global economic disruption triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war has worsened Ghana's macroeconomy. High public debt, rising inflation and depleting foreign reserves have destabilised the balance of payment. As a result, economic hardship in Ghana has remained a topical national issue since the start of 2022.
However, in the past, President Akufo-Addo, his Vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and maverick NPP MP Kennedy Agyapong, among others, have condemned any form of IMF support.
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In 2015, the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government went to the IMF for support. But with his finance minister at the time, Seth Terkper, they were bashed by the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
YEN.com.gh looks back at the harsh words that greeted Ghana's 2015 IMF bailout programme from top NPP members.
Akufo-Addo's lowkey jab
President Akufo-Addo tweeted in 2015 that Ghana was going to the IMF despite its rich oil fields.
He tweeted on April 19, 20215 as follows:
"For the first time in #history, an oil rich country, some five years into oil production, is seeking a #bailout from the #IMF."
Let Mahama's IMF Deal Be the Last
Again, President Akufo-Addo said in 2019 that the 16th IMF programme, entered into by the Mahama government in 2015, would be the last time Ghana resorts to such an intervention.
Speaking at a town hall meeting with members of the Ghanaian community in 2019 in Worcester, Massachusetts, the president noted that the 2015 IMF programme had to be entered into because "the Mahama government had lost control over the management of the economy."
Ghana under NPP will never enter into an IMF programme
He claimed at the time that every aspect of the economy had plummeted despite the availability of oil revenues which the John Kufuor government did not benefit from.
"We have to make Ghana a land of opportunity not a land of obstacles…Ghana under NPP will never enter into an IMF programme."
Only a failed gov't goes to IMF
NPP's Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong said at the beginning of 2022 that any government that goes to the IMF has admitted that it has failed.
The minority in Parliament had advised the government to seek IMF intervention to stabilise the economy, but Mr Agyapong made the following remarks during a radio discussion:
"I hear some people say we should go to the IMF but any government that goes to IMF has failed and we haven't failed."
Lazy governments go to IMF
An economist and a member of the NPP, Dr Kusi Boafo, said in March this year that only lazy governments go to IMF. He advised the government against seeking a bailout programme.
"We have been to Bretton Woods Institutions fifteen times and have not benefitted from it so what is the essence of going there again? Only lazy governments will go to IMF and I will never advise my government to go there. If we go there they will give us conditionality to cancel free SHS, and other policies," he said.
Sam George Reacts To Akufo-Addo’s Direction For Possible Bailout Deal
YEN.com.gh has reported previously that opposition MP, Sam George, described Nana Akufo-Addo's directive for engagements for a possible bailout programme from IMF as evidence that common sense was prevailing in the government.
The Ningo Prampram MP had been a strong advocate for an IMF programme to hold the decline of Ghana's economic indicators.
"We are officially going back to the IMF for a program. Finally, common sense is prevailing," he tweeted on Friday.
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