Anthony Akoto Osei
The Minority in Parliament has said Ghana’s economy has deteriorated, despite desperate measures by the Mahama government to arrest the decline.
At a News Conference on Tuesday, Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Anthony Akoto Osei, said as a result of the weakening economy, Ghana is heading into Wednesday’s an International Monetary Fund(IMF) bailout negotiations with a substantially weaker bargaining power than it had as of February.
The IMF’s first round of discussions on a possible IMF-supported programme for Ghana will last for ten days. The discussions will begin on Tuesday September 16 and end on September 25, 2014.
Citi FM’s Richard Dela Sky asked the former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry under John Kufour’s administration, Anthony Akoto Osei, how the Minority Group came to the conclusion that Ghana’s economy has deteriorated since February.
In his response, he said ‘..deficit is getting worse, there are revenue short falls, arrears accumulation…they themselves have provided the facts.’
Though the World Economic Report has suggested that there is a turnaround in Ghana’s economic challenges, Mr. Akoto Osei said those challenges are still existent.
‘When there are accumulated arrears on statutory payment, how can you say there is a turnaround? …They ought to be serious, they shouldn’t give Ghanaians the impression that things are getting better…Is short falls in revenue a better situation?,’ Mr. Akoto Osei quizzed.
Mr. Anthony Akoto Osei therefore asked government to negotiate an IMF programme that would not inflict further hardship on Ghanaians.
‘We have already suffered enough from the incompetence and mismangement of this National Democrativc Congress(NDC) government over the past six long years. Whatever agreement is reached with IMF should protect jobs, reduce the high cost of living, reduce the cost of doing business and support the transformation of Ghana’s economy,’ he said.
In its Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, the World Economic Forum, said: ‘Ghana reverses last year’s downward trend and climbs up to 111th this year, largely as the result of slight improvements in its macroeconomic indicators, although fiscal vulnerabilities persist: the government deficit stood at 10.8 percent of GDP in 2013, more than twice that of two years ago; government debt remains over 60 percent; and inflation is over 11 percent.’
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