IMF to get tough over GH¢7bn expenditure gap – Economist

Business News of Monday, 6 February 2017



Ghana IMF Bailoutfile photo

Ghana risks being penalised by the IMF over the unaccounted 7 billion cedis in government’s accounts.This is the assertion of Economist, Dr. Lord Mensah.

The caution follows the visit by a team from the IMF for a review of the deal.

“Well, there’s a possibility that IMF will sanction our country because look at possible conditions where expenditure has been reduced and if expenditure has been reduced, it shows a sign of you hiding some of the true reflections of what is on the ground,” Dr. Lord Mensah said.

The review will be the first for the year and the first meeting the IMF will have with the new administration.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia recently stated that there is a 7 billion cedi gap in government expenditure accounts prepared by the outgone NDC administration.

“In preparing for the Budget we realised to our shock that expenditure amounting seven billion cedis was made by the previous government but never disclosed,”

Dr Bawumia added, “In the management of any economy, there’s nothing that can beat the integrity of your economic data because if you don’t have data you have major problems and this is why we really need to emphasise the integrity of data.”

Officials from the opposition party have since justified the apparent gap.

But Dr. Lord Mensah, who describes a review of the IMF deal as unnecessary, believes the Fund will be tough in seeking further clarity on the 7 billion cedis gap.

“Some of the financial indiscipline have been hidden so if you are to expose everything you’ll realise that the conditions they gave us might differ.

That is why you were being irrational and they tried to hide information so when they come in, I think renegotiation will not be an option,” he added.

Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo has stated that the new government will re- negotiate Ghana’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Now the IMF program will certainly be reviewed and there are two main reasons why the IMF program must be reviewed.

I have already hinted to one of the bosses of the IMF. Now President Nana Akufo-Addo came out with a manifesto and in that manifesto, he needs fiscal space to move it”.

Yaw Osafo Maafo added, “The current program literally squeezes all the fiscal space out and therefore from the point of view of the program of the NPP, the IMF program must be reviewed”.