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Politics of Tuesday, 12 May 2020


$1bn IMF loan: Govt has been vindicated, Mahama doesn't read - Buabeng Asamoah

Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party, Yaw Buaben Asamoah play videoCommunications Director of the New Patriotic Party, Yaw Buaben Asamoah

Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buabeng Asamoah says the Akufo-Addo government has been vindicated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the $1 billion loan facility the Bretton Woods institution recently doled out to the Government of Ghana.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) claims government massaged figures to secure the loan from the IMF.

These claims were championed by the NDC and their flagbearer former President John Dramani Mahama in an attempt to besmirch President Akufo-Addo and make his government unpopular in the eyes of Ghanaians, according to the ruling party, but that was shot down by Country Director of the IMF, Dr. Albert Touna Mama over the weekend.

Dr. Touna Mama, in an interview with Joy FM on Saturday, cleared the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta of tampering with the figures disclosing that ''when it comes to the data we received that we worked with, in this debate, there is nothing new that we did not know''.

Contrary to the NDC claims which emanated from a fact-checking exercise by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) that the government presented different data to the IMF, the IMF Boss expounded that the 7.5 per cent fiscal deficit in the IMF statement was generated by the institution itself and not the Government of Ghana, adding that what the NDC thinks is a discrepancy in the figures is actually a result of two different methodologies used in calculating deficit and international reserve.

To him, the NDC grossly erred in its interpretation of the figures.

"You need to go through the reports and understand what the figures that have been presented are...Our number includes these two elements (financial sector payments and energy sector payment) and we know why the Governor of the Bank of Ghana made the decision not to have these two elements in the fiscal deficits...When it comes to Gross International Reserve, we have our definition; definition that we think is the right one."

"But the Bank of Ghana also has a different understanding of what Gross International Reserve should account for. And the difference here is that Bank of Ghana accounts the Oil Fund, the Heritage Fund and the Stabilization Fund as part of Gross International Reserve and I think that point was clearly made at the beginning of the year by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana. That is the difference and that is the position that they have taken," he added.

Touching on the issue on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo', the NPP Communications Director held that the explanations given by the IMF Country Director should put to rest the political arguments about the IMF 1 billion-dollar loan facility since it has been established that the government did nothing wrong.

According to him, former President John Mahama and the NDC have shot themselves in the foot.

"He (Mahama) didn't take time to read. They don't listen when we always tell them they don't read. It has been disclosed that Ghana is not the only country that benefited from the loan facility. If he had exercised a little restraint to know the world is transforming, he would not have made such a rash of it," Yaw Buabeng Asamoah slammed former President Mahama.

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