Political scientist expresses misgivings over IMF bailout

Professor Ransford Gyampo, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, has expressed misgivings over the government’s decision in shifting away from the prospects of the Electronic Transactions Levy (e-levy) and moving to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bailout.

He explained that every new government policy, programme and social intervention were bound to experience some level of rejection at their initial stages and there was no need for the government to hasten to the IMF.

According to a statement issued, the government should have exercised some restraint before defecting to the IMF for support and assistance and pointed out that “if the government fails to heed the calls for increments from labour unions, it may lead to series of strikes which may affect the smooth governance of the country”.

Prof. Gyampo’s comments, which was in reaction to the government’s decision to fall on the IMF for fiscal direction amidst the country’s dwindling economy, alleged that the country would be ‘ungovernable’ if the government accepted any IMF conditionality that freezes wage increment.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, authorised Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the IMF to support and assist the country’s economy.

However, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, observed that the country would soon praise the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for engaging the IMF to support and assist its socio economic policies.

Rather, he wanted the citizenry to be concerned with the conditionality that would come with Ghana’s engagement with the Fund.

The statement indicated that labour unions would be opposed to any policy that did not guarantee an upward review of their wages next year and hinted that he was yet to fully communicate his thoughts on the government’s decision to seek support from the IMF, as against previous indications that it would not resort to the Fund.

It said he would write his thoughts about the IMF u-turn later but pointed out that, labour would not tolerate any IMF conditionality that freezes wage increment next year and the government must keep its promise, regardless else the nation would be ungovernable due to series of demonstrations and strikes.

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