The four-time presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama, has urged the government to not rush to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for any loan, since such a move will increase the country’s debt portfolio and worsen the current economic challenges.
He said once Ghana had assumed the lower middle- income status, the nation could not get any concessionary loans from the IMF or any donor partner.
That, he said, meant that Ghanaians would have to cough up more money to settle loans that the government would secure from the IMF.
Recently, there have been debates about the necessity of the Ghana government going to the IMF for a bailout as a result of a huge budget deficit.
Solution to economic challenges
Dr Mahama, said the solution to the current economic difficulties in Ghana was that the government should find ways of reducing corruption and increasing efficiency in the public service.
He said corruption was rife in all facets of the country, including the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
He said because corruption was perpetuated by the leaders, their subordinates also had the chance to engage in corrupt acts.
Besides, he said, the failure of successive governments to mete out severe punishment to corrupt politicians and public officials had encouraged them to perpetuate the act with impunity.
Dr Mahama, who is a medical doctor, said the government must devise different ways of fighting corruption in the various ministries, departments and agencies, since the act had different shades and colours.
He said if corruption could be reduced by 25 per cent in the public service, the government could save more than GHc 20 billion from going into the pockets of corrupt public officials and channel that amount into developing infrastructure and supporting social services.
The veteran politician said the inefficiency in the public service slowed down the implementation of projects, affected the provision of social services and caused the nation to lose millions of cedis.
For instance, he said, the current incoherent power outages were due mainly to inefficiency on the part of officials of the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Dr Mahama said if efficiency in the public service was increased by 35 per cent, the government could generate more revenue from that move to support the economy.
Number of ministers
Dr Mahama said the number of ministers of state was too large, and indicated that the large number had put financial burden on the government purse.
He said what the nation needed were efficient systems and strong institutions to run government business.
He, therefore, asked President John Dramani Mahama to consider reducing the number of ministers of state.
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