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Business News of Saturday, 30 March 2019


Ghana worse off than pre-IMF program – Adongo

Isaac Adongo is MP for Bolga Central Isaac Adongo is MP for Bolga Central

Ghana is currently worse off than the period when the oil-producing West African nation went to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, opposition lawmaker Isaac Adongo has said.

The Bolgatanga Central MP said financial indiscipline on the part of the Akufo-Addo administration has ballooned the total wage bill from GHS14 billion to GHS22 billion.

He told parliament that if the government does not halt the indiscipline, the GHS22 billion wage bill would be doubled by the year 2020.

His comments followed an address to parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday, 28 March 2019.

Mr Ofori-Atta, among other things, told the legislature that some discussions that took place during the recent visit of the World Bank Vice-President for Africa, Dr Hafez Ghanem, to Ghana, depict that the Bretton Woods institution believes in the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda of the Akufo-Addo administration.

He said: “Our recent success in the Eurobond demonstrates the clear confidence that the international community has in the hard work that we have done. We know that this confidence resonates with our vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.

“The World Bank’s Vice-President for the African Region visited Ghana between the 24th and 26th of March 2019. The objective of the visit was to discuss with the government and other stakeholders the World Bank’s assisted projects for Ghana and explore areas for future collaboration.

“The discussions centred on efforts to mobilise funds for economic transformation towards the achievements of Ghana beyond aid and all the SDGs.”

Commenting on the address, however, Mr Adongo said: “We are worse than when we entered the IMF. In 2016, our total wage bill was GHS14 billion. Today, we are dealing with GHS22 billion, an expansion of 53 per cent in the public sector. On average, we are adding 21 per cent of our public wage bill every year.

“If this continues by the year 2020, we would have doubled the wage bill that we [NDC] left.”

He added: “That is the height of indiscipline.”