Make public outcome of data assessment of IMF – Prof. Gatsi urges govt

Professor John Gatsi has urged the government to make public the outcome of the data assessment conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission team into the country.

He said what the citizens wanted to hear was the outcome of the assessment conducted by the IMF team and not what led the country to go for an IMF programme.

Speaking on the recent visit of the IMF to the country in an interview Prof. Gatsi, who is the Dean of the University of Cape Coast School of Business, said the government should “open up to Ghanaians about the outcome of the IMF data assessment mission.”

“We actually don’t need what led us to IMF after the fact finding visit by the IMF rather what did the IMF and the government of Ghana settle on at the exit meeting to describe the economy to be in deep challenge in need of credibility for monetary policy, fiscal difficulties and vulnerability of Ghanaians?” he said.

The President, Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo, on July 1, 2022, directed the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to commence formal negotiations with the IMF for a bailout programme.

A week after, a delegation from the IMF embarked on a one-week visit to the country and held meetings with stakeholders and discussed possible support for  the country’s domestic economic recovery programme.

The IMF team completed its one-week assessment of the Ghanaian economy on July 13, 2022.

Prof.Gatsi said the reasons outlined by the government as to why Ghana was pursuing an IMF programme were not convincing and were not the most important information Ghanaians needed.

“What Ghanaians want to know is the home-grown policy proposal the government presented to the IMF. The IMF has clearly provided summary of observations and what to do next. We have not heard anything from government in attempt to brief the people,” the Dean of the University of Cape Coast School of Business said.

He stressed that “Any reason provided for which Ghana was engaging the IMF without the inclusion of fiscal mismanagement, self-inflicted fiscal dominance with its negative effect on the Central bank remains unconvincing.”

“What is the state of Ghana’s economy after the IMF visit? What led to the credit rating downgrade? What is the new level of debt and debt to Gross Domestic Product level after reassessment of the public debts?  What do we do to the fragile cocoa sector as a result of over GH¢ 10 billion commitments, almost GH¢ 3.5 billion cocoa bills and lower production?” Prof. Gatsi said.

Touching on the banking sector cleanup, Prof.Gatsi asserted that Ghanaians were not convinced that the approach adopted by government and Bank of Ghana in dealing with the cleanup exercise was most appropriate.

“It is an intentional policy choice with dangerous impact on institutions, entrepreneurs and financial sector investment. The cost of the banking and financial sector cleanup is a policy choice against other sound, principle based alternatives,” he said.

The Dean of University of Cape Coast School of Business said the tone of the government and its officials should be reassuring and not casting insinuations.

“In times of crisis in which COVID-19 and Ukraine-Russian crises compounded the already existing fiscal difficulties, therapeutic comments are valued more than illiquid ones,” Prof. Gatsi said.


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