Debate over Ghana’s return to IMF needless; let’s make progress – Kweku Kwarteng

Debate over Ghana’s return to IMF needless; let’s make progress – Kweku Kwarteng

Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Kweku Kwarteng has asked critics of government’s quest to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be measured and support the move.

He says the debate on whether or not the country’s economy is robust for external financial assistance is needless and must not be encouraged.

Kweku Kwarteng’s comments are in reaction to concerns raised by the Minority over the IMF’s insistence that, Ghana’s economy has been hit badly by the Russia-Ukraine war as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Is this a point worth responding to? This whole discussion about Ghana subscribing to the IMF for the 17th time because of COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine war – do we genuinely believe that for the sake of our country, this is a question we should be addressing? Won’t it be brilliant to be debating who has a better strategy to make this 17th appearance at the IMF the last for the country”, he quizzed on Eyewitness News.

Responding to criticisms of the IMF’s assessment of Ghana’s economy, Director of the Communications Department at the IMF, Mr. Gerry Rice re-emphasized that Ghana’s plight has been worsened by the Russia-Ukraine war as it had already injected a lot of fiscal power into the pandemic.

This is a point Kweku Kwarteng corroborates, and called for a rather more healthy discussion on the development to find a lasting solution to the country’s heavy dependence on the IMF.

“Why are we preoccupied with this? What kind of discussions do we want to have about the economy right now? I believe that our economy has been challenged but as we grow, we should learn and begin to have discussions that will make this 17th appearance, the last one. Why can’t we put those fundamental issues taking us to the IMF on the table? Why turn the debate into a blame game?  Let’s correct things and focus on having helpful debates”.

Ghana is before the IMF to help the country navigate the economic crisis it finds itself in, which was worsened by the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The country is seeking a $3 billion package from the fund.