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General News of Friday, 5 April 2019


NDC urges govt to adhere to IMF recommendations

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central in the Upper East Region, Isaac Adongo has said the country’s economy is in distress contrary to the bright picture being painted by the government.

In his assessment, the country was currently at cross roads and confronted with what he described as “a severe fiscal environment that is creating a quagmire.”

Addressing the rank and file of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at a public lecture on Ghana’s economy in Accra yesterday, he said the country had ended the IMF programmme without achieving its objectives.

To save the economy from going out of gear and save Ghanaians from the repercussion, the financial analyst advised the government to adhere to the recommendations of IMF.

Ghana on Tuesday formally completed the IMF programme after it had entered into a US$925.9 million three-year arrangement with the IMF in April 2015 to cushion the economy.

The lecture organised by the Coalition for Restoration, affiliated to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was on the theme “The state of the Ghanaian Economy; Myths and Truths.”

It was an apparent rebuttal to government’s town hall meeting held on Wednesday during which the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the Economic Management Team publicised government’s achievements.

Referring to Dr Bawumia as the “Walewale version” of Adam Smith, the father of economics, Mr Adongo accused him of picking and choosing figures to paint a biased picture of the economy.

He said the claim that as a result of the IMF conditions, the Bank of Ghana could not intervene in the market to stabilise the cedi was not true as data released by the BoG last week indicated that Ghana’s net international reserves at the end of 2018 was $3.8 billion which declined to about $3.1 billion by the end of February 2019.

This, he said meant that the BoG had pumped $700million of net international reserves to stabilise the cedi and challenged the vice president to show where the $700m was if it was not used for such purpose.

Mr Adongo alleged that the dishonest posture by the government was exposed when the cedi ended trading at GH¢5.6 to the 1US$ per Bloomberg report on the same day of the town hall meeting.

He said it was regrettable that the cedi reversed its gains in the last few days and resumed “its unenviable position as the worse performing currency in Africa and the 4th worse currency in the world by Bloomberg.”

Using charts, table and alternate figures, he discounted government’s assessment of Ghana’s debt stock and other fiscal performances adding that the government was spending more on goods and services and borrowing to pay salaries with no money for the much needed infrastructure.

The Bolgatanga Central MP asserted that the achievement of the NDC government was superior to that of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and had become an albatross on the neck of the government.

He said the party under the able leadership of former President Mahama, was expecting Ghanaians to vote them back into power not because the governing party had failed but because it had superior programmes with proven track record of delivery.

Other speakers at the lecture were former Education Minister, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, former Deputy Finance ministers, Mr Fiifi Kwetey and Ms Mona Quartey and former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor.

Former President John Dramani Mahama and NDC’s 2020 presidential candidate joined the rank and file of the party at the lecture.