General News of Monday, 16 March 2015

Source: graphic.com

IMF loan, reforms won’t take Ghana anywhere

Dr. Onsy Kwame Nkrumah, a Pan Africanist, has said “the IMF loan and reforms will not take Ghana anywhere”.

He has therefore advised the leadership of the country to quickly organise itself to repay the IMF loan as soon as possible to regain the country’s freedom and restore her sovereignty.

A team from the Bretton Woods institution last month reached an agreement with a Ghanaian delegation, led by former Finance Minister, Dr Kwesi Botchwey, to bail out Ghana’s economy with an amount of US$940 million.

The amount, according to the mission led by Joel Toujas-Bernaté, is an economic programme that could be supported by a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.

Impoverished Ghanaians

But speaking in an interview in Accra, the son of Ghana’s First President insisted that the IMF loan and conditionalities would rather impoverish Ghanaians further, adding that “the earlier we pay the IMF loan, the better our chances of thinking to create our own wealth”.

Dr Nkrumah was in the country to participate in the 58th Independence anniversary last week.

He said the $940-million package to be given to Ghana by the IMF over a three-year period was paltry and not enough to help address the crises confronting the nation.

Accordingly, he expressed disappointment that Ghana went to the IMF for the bailout.

“I feel very very disappointed because this IMF bailout of nearly one billon dollars and the harsh conditions attached to it will bring Ghana no advantages,” he stated.

He said the country should start thinking seriously of how to create wealth instead of specialising in borrowing after borrowing “to repay what we have already borrowed.”

Ghana, he said, must also strive to end this vicious cycle of borrowing to avoid going deeper and deeper into economic mess and trouble.

Great faith in future

That notwithstanding, Dr Nkrumah said he had great faith in the future of Ghana.

“The best is yet to come,” he assured, but indicated that “we need to first stop the spiralling down approach. There must be a revulsion for wrong management, wrongdoing and thinking. I believe we will have a great Ghana soon,” he stated.

In his view, Ghana has enough redeeming qualities and “we must live up to our potential to become the Mecca of Africa”.

Moment of honesty

To overcome the economic challenges confronting the country, Dr Nkrumah appealed for a moment of honesty in addressing the real issues confronting the ordinary Ghanaian.

“The game plan must not be based on election and how to win elections but on “how we can stop borrowing and think deeply through the processes of creating wealth and jobs,” he said.

“This calls for soul-searching. We must be clean and honest to ourselves and country, be transparent and live within our means and think of a plan and how to create wealth,” he stated.

This way, Dr Nkrumah said, the country could live without loans and not declare itself a HIPC country as was done by the Kufuor Administration.

“The whole idea of HIPC cannot be repeated every 10 years. You can use such tricks once but not twice otherwise the lending Clubs will blacklist you, as you would be seen as a crook state,” he stated.