Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on the government to exercise prudence in the responsible utilization of the $600 million recently extended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the ongoing bailout program. The funds, constituting the second tranche disbursed to Ghana, have brought the total disbursement to $1.2 billion.
The Bank of Ghana (BOG) officially acknowledged the receipt of the $600 million on Tuesday, January 23, 2023. These funds are earmarked for budget support and the stabilization of the Ghanaian cedi, according to statements released by the central bank.
In a social media post, Mr. Mahama, who is also the flag bearer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), expressed the party’s eagerness and readiness to address Ghana’s economic challenges upon assuming office in January 2025.
However, he urged the outgoing New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to exercise caution and responsibility in managing the IMF funds and any additional resources that may be provided by the World Bank and other development partners.
“The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is eager and ready to address Ghana’s economic challenges and provide substantial relief to Ghanaians upon assumption of office in January 2025. Before that, I again urge the outgoing NPP government to be cautious, responsible and judicious in utilising the IMF $600 million and other funds that may be made available to Ghana from the World Bank and other development partners,” he said.
Furthermore, Mahama stated that the release of $600 million from the IMF should provide relief to the overburdened and suffering Ghanaian populace but contended that the current government’s policies, such as the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity consumption, would exacerbate the economic hardship faced by the citizens.
“I agree with organized labor that the government must reverse its decision to start collecting VAT on electricity consumption,” Mahama emphasized, citing potential consequences such as a nearly 21% increase in tariffs, affecting prices of goods, services, and transport fares.
Former President John Dramani Mahama encouraged the NDC minority in parliament to ensure strict oversight on both the government and the Bank of Ghana to stifle further aggravation of the country’s already dire economic situation.
He further pledged to continue engaging ordinary citizens about his goals to rebuild the national economy and provide much needed jobs.
“On my part, I will, from time to time, continue to engage the Ghanaian public about my vision to build the Ghana we want and how we will work together to create well-paying jobs through my 24-hour economy policy and other pragmatic initiatives,” Mr Mahama said.