Posted: Friday 2nd May 2014 at 7:00 am

Don’t Blame IMF For Ghana’s Economic Woes – Akoto Osei

Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei says the calls on government not to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have no basis.

He has, therefore, urged Ghanaians not to blame the nation’s economic problems on the IMF.

This follows a caution given to government by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on May Day stating that the former should desist from seeking any bailout in the midst of the current economic challenges facing the country.

Ghana’s economy in the past months has been faced with some critical ailing conditions amidst rising inflation, depreciation of the local currency, Cedis, high budget deficit amongst others.

Finance Minister, Seth Tekper earlier in the year asserted that the country may seek an IMF cover if necessary to lessen the burden of current fiscal challenges facing the nation.

But the Secretary General of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah, in a statement on May Day mentioned that conditions attached to supports from the IMF and the World Bank, are not for the benefit of the Ghanaian economy.

The Minority spokesperson on finance disagreed and suggested that what Ghana has to do is to employ proper, effective policies, ”If you don’t put in proper policies, then somebody [IMF] will tell you what to do. Ghana is a member of the IMF, so we are entitled to any benefit that accrues from there.”

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Dr. Akoto Osei said: “We should not blame our problems on the IMF; our difficulties cannot be blamed on the IMF. It is not the IMF which is producing inefficiencies in government; it’s not the IMF that is not collecting revenue from the customs.”

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo also said Ghana has to deal with its own institutional and systemic weaknesses and stop blaming international support agencies, like the IMF.

“Corruption in Ghana is not promoted by the IMF; it is done by Ghanaians,” he noted.

According to him, the argument by the TUC is neither here nor there because “our own policies are causing the troubles [facing the economy] not the IMF.” He went on to state that the IMF only gives balance of payment support, [reserves to support member countries].

“When you pay the judgment debt that you are not supposed to pay, how can you go and blame the IMF?” Dr. Akoto Osei stressed, adding that Ghana should stop the blame games.

On matters relating to pressure on President John Mahama from within the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to dismiss Finance Minister, Mr. Seth Tekper, Dr. Akoto Osei described them as ‘uncalled for and needless’.

According to him, the minister of finance only acts on the president’s instructions so “if they are calling for the dismissal of the minister of finance, why don’t they call for the dismissal of the president because after all, he is acting on behalf of the president.”

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