The signals from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about the bailout application by Ghana are befuddling.
With the President denying that there is such an application pending before the Bretton Wood institution – against the backdrop of contrary positions by his Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and the bailout source itself – Ghanaians are at a loss as to what to believe.
We are constrained, as are many others who have followed this unnecessary banter, to conclude that one of the persons is not telling the truth. People who attain a certain status in society must exhibit decent qualities, one of which is being truthful.
Losing this quality opens such persons to contemptuous labels which are not commensurate with their status.
One fact is clear though. In the midst of the maze of contradictory statements: Ghana has formally applied for an IMF lifeline in the face of the biting economic crisis. So whether the President counters this fact or not we would not be drawn into a useless banter.
We have observed regrettably how the IMF subject has been treated with an assortment of lenses since it popped up.
We are hard-pressed not to align with the stance that the President is on a propaganda mode: it is a level which spawns the kind of outlandish denial we are being treated to by the man who has authored the application for a bailout as it were.
President John Mahama’s problem is understandable, as he tries albeit abortively, to downplay the crisis the economy is in. Managing a credibility challenge, especially when it concerns governance, is a different kettle of fish. More so after the President had denied that he was turning to the IMF for a bailout.
Denying that Ghana is in crisis when indeed the factors on the ground point to such a situation, is responsible for the varying signals about whether the government has really applied for the facility or not.
Honestly, we do not understand why the President would turn to the IMF simply to enhance the credibility challenge facing the country.
That itself is an admission by him that the country is suffering a credibility deficiency on the international scene, and would seek the intervention of an institution like the IMF to remedy the challenge.
Are we to believe therefore that President Mahama turned to the IMF simply to have the fund shore up the dwindled confidence in the economy by the international community and investors? Does such an arrangement exist in the terms of reference of the IMF?
Who is not telling the truth about the IMF bailout? Is it the President, the IMF or the Minister of Finance?
When eventually the conditionalities take effect, the truth about the IMF bailout will come out unambiguously.