The Executive Director of Democratic Forum, Frank Amoakohene, has called on the government to rescind its decision of seeking a loan facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In his view, the loan facility will not be put to good use in the face of the present laxity in the recovery of funds as existing largely in the government set-up.
Referring to a report by the Ghana Integrity Initiative which indicated that Ghana loses US$3billion annually to corruption, the think-tank guru suggested that the government focuses on effectively checking corruption alone since it can generate the expected amount required for our economic recovery.
Dr. Amoakohene in a statement said, “we believe that proper auditing of the numerous loans, cranking down on corruption and a firm check on overspending can make more funds available for public governance.”
He also indicated that, even though the government inherited a public debt of GHC122.26 billion (US$14.9bn), it has over the past five years, had to borrow an amount of GHC266.29bn (US$32.5bn), putting the public debt cumulatively at GHC389.16 billion (US$54.47bn) as of May 2022.
“Considering the above trend, we are of the firm belief that the projected US$3.0bn that the Government of Ghana is expecting from the IMF is just a move to add to Ghana’s Public debt since they have accessed enough funds required for any financially prudent government to turn the fortunes of the country around for best,” he said.
Explaining, he alleged that the Government of Ghana received the equivalent of US$1 billion from the IMF in April 2020 as support towards the fight against Covid 19. Upon receiving these funds, the government of Ghana, unfortunately, has not been able to account for the use of these funds and yet wants to access another loan facility,” he added.
Additionally, Dr. Amoakohene stated that the surveillance function of the IMF also demands transparency and accountability from member states, especially from funds given out by the IMF to these countries, hence, the need for government to provide reasonable expenditure of the funds before being allowed any other funds or loan facility from the IMF.
“Profligacy and wasteful use of Ghana’s funds have also become topical in recent times as the President of the Republic of Ghana has been continuously accused of wasteful use of Ghana’s resources to charter private jets for his foreign trips at a time that the Ghanian economy cannot support same,” it added.
He also alluded to the continual payment of non-performing Ministers and uneconomical appointments, saying Ghana’s Gender Minister, for instance, has been off the post for close to a year and, yet, she is being paid.
In addition, he claimed there is a duplication of roles in the presidency with overlapping responsibilities.
Finally, he referred to the appointment of less useful government officials such as Ambassadors at large and Ambassadors at posts.
He was of the view that the IMF can best help Ghana by “providing only technical support to the government to be financially disciplined, check corruption, reduce the size of the government and avoid profligacy.”