Friday, 08 December

IMF bailout: Gov’t officials should not be satisfied with just meeting conditionalities - Lecturer

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A senior lecturer at the Accra Technical University's Business Faculty in the Greater Accra Region is deeply concerned about the recurring pattern of government officials expressing satisfaction when Ghana meets the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) conditions for financial assistance, especially during times of economic turmoil.

Dr Daniel Osabutey voiced his apprehension, emphasising that this recurring behaviour troubles him greatly.

Dr Osabutey criticised how government officials appear content when the country fulfils the IMF's requirements for a bailout, rather than focusing on implementing long-term solutions to prevent the recurrence of such economic crises.

"We should be more concerned about how we can rectify our economic issues to avoid the need for frequent bailouts after every election cycle," Dr. Osabutey emphasised.

During an appearance on the Ghana Yensom morning show, hosted by Odehyeeba Kofi Essuman on Accra 100.5 FM on Wednesday, September 21, 2023, Dr Osabutey shared his concerns about this recurring government practice.

He asserted that relying on the IMF for assistance should not be a source of pride for government officials and emphasised that turning to the IMF is far from an ideal situation.

In particular, Dr Osabutey noted that Ghana has sought IMF assistance 17 times, making it the foremost debtor to the IMF in Africa. 

He argued that this alarming frequency should be a cause for alarm among politicians, rather than a source of comfort. 

He pointed out that politicians should focus on implementing sustainable economic policies rather than assuring Ghanaians that the government is working to meet the IMF's eligibility criteria for support, with the promise that everything will be fine once IMF assistance arrives.

Dr Osabutey also questioned why the country consistently appears to rebound after exiting an IMF programme.

He emphasised that the IMF's involvement ensures responsible fiscal management, but once the responsibility returns to Ghanaian government officials, they tend to overspend without considering revenue generation.

In conclusion, Dr Osabutey stressed the importance of breaking the cycle of dependence on the IMF and called for a more responsible and sustainable approach to managing Ghana's economy.

Source: Mensah