Accra, Ghana – In response to the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Executive Board approving Ghana's request for an extended credit facility of $3 billion, the Minority in Parliament has expressed its concerns and criticism.
The joint announcement by the IMF and the Government of Ghana follows months of negotiations with international creditors and a recent default on both domestic and foreign debts.
The Minority in Parliament emphasizes that Ghana's unilateral suspension of debt servicing, both domestically and externally, has resulted in the country's first-ever default on debts. This default has led to a downgrade by international rating agencies to restrictive default (RD), marking the worst rating in Ghana's history.
The Minority highlights its longstanding position that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government missed crucial opportunities to salvage the economy, which they claim has been grossly mismanaged since coming into office in 2017. The Minority alleges that the government's denial of the true state of Ghana's economy and attempts to shift responsibility is evident from the beginning of their tenure.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta's previous assurance that Ghana would not seek IMF assistance, despite the public urging the government to do so, is criticized by the Minority as a hollow promise. The tragic events preceding the IMF approval, including the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) and its negative impact on pensioners and financial institutions, were anticipated by the Minority.
The Minority acknowledges the sacrifices made by Ghanaian bondholders, pensioners, and citizens enduring a turbulent economy and rising cost of living. With the IMF Board approval secured, the Minority anticipates the release of a comprehensive report detailing the state of Ghana's economy and the conditions and benchmarks set by the IMF.
The Minority in Parliament plans to address Ghanaians in the coming days to discuss the report's contents and the implications of the IMF deal. They highlight that as part of the government's proposal to the IMF, an increase in utility tariffs every three months has been agreed upon, which has already resulted in a cumulative 75.32% increase in electricity tariffs since September 2022.
The Minority cautions Ghanaians, especially the youth, to brace themselves for the consequences of the IMF deal, warning that it will likely have a significant impact on the population. They view this as a reality that will soon become apparent to all.
Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson (PhD), MP, the Minority Leader, issued this statement on behalf of the Minority in Parliament.
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