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2023 budget must restore confidence; send signals that Ghana can be trusted – Fmr IMF Advisor

A Former Advisor at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dr Emmanuel Oteng has asked the government to present a 2023 budget statement that restores confidence in the economy.

He stated that due to the downgrade of the economy by the credit rating agencies, Ghana is no longer able to access the international capital market.

To that end, he said, the budget will have to stipulate clearly, measures to the investors that the economy is picking for which they should invest in.

Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Sani Abdul-Rahman on Wednesday November 16 ahead of the budget presentation, he intimated that the government needs to demonstrate that it will be able to generate enough primary balance.

“We have to ensure that we are able to get access to the international financial market. Because of the rating agencies downgrade of us, we don’t have access now. But that reflects their concern that we are not able, essentially, to repay our debt.

“So the budget that is coming, hopefully, should restore the framework to ensure that we are able to inspire confidence.

“How do you inspire confidence? That you are able to have enough revenue to pay off debt, you are able to generate enough primary balance because the primary balance will be the result you will pay down debt eventually.

“It will take time, it does not happen in a month or maybe couple of months or a year but you have to start building up surpluses to be able to repay debt so that they know that eventually, you are a country that you can trust, a country that we can lend to because you are a county that will be able to repay its debt. So it is important we send these signals.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is working to present the budget on November 24, the Majority Leader in Parliament Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said in Parliament on Friday November 11.

“Given the circumstance now, the Minister has informed us, in fact, he has written, that he would rather prefer to come here and work everything out in such a way that on the 24th, he will do the delivery here,” he said.

The budget was supposed to have been presented on the 15th of November but Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu indicated earlier that it was going to be pushed forward due to the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He said this to journalists on Thursday November 3.

“I am yet to have discussions with the Minister responsible for Finance to determine exactly when he will be able to present to us,” he said.

The Leader of Government business in Parliament added “it will be difficult to submit to the 15th deadline, I don’t know , I ma just conjecturing.”

“Nothing should be done which will eventually become wishy-washy. They want to have the best to be able to uplift us from where we are as a country.

“And that being the case, if we want to do a thorough job, I think there will be too much pressure if it has to be done on the 15th,” he added.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana


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