Time is not on our side, ‘going to IMF is not a sin’ – Bokpin to gov’t
Economist and Finance Lecturer, Professor Godfred Bokpin says it is long overdue for the government to have considered a programme from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to save the economy from further troubles, saying, the current situation with the economy is not good.
Speaking in an interview on the Joy Super Morning Show, Professor Bokpin, who has since last year been advising government to consider a programme from the Fund to avert an economic turmoil, urged government to act fast to prevent a catastrophe.
“If you look across the various sectors – arrears, debt build up and all of that, at this point, we have no choice. I will say that actually time is not on our side, time is not on our side and I believe that government is coming to that reality. That in itself is positive.”
“Let’s not take it that going to the IMF is a sin that cannot be forgiven. I think that as a leader, as a country, we now find ourselves in the position where we must embrace alternatives on the table in the interest of the common goal. To that extent I see that the ground is soften from the side of government”, he pointed out.
“I could be wrong and I’ll be glad to be wrong and somebody told me that the ground is actually not softening but melting very fast. Where we find ourselves now is not good. We must act very fast…that is what I’ll say”, he added.
A cousin to President Akufo-Addo, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, in a tweet yesterday, said government may take a second look at an IMF programme because revenue from the Electronic Transaction Levy, almost two months into its implementation, is far below target and therefore cannot help the country to raise the necessary revenue to close the fiscal deficit.
He said on Twitter that the government has so far mobilised roughly ¢60 million from the E-Levy, far below the projected ¢600 million.
Gabby noted that “I’m for IMF in principle”, adding, “Ghana is a member of the IMF. The world is in serious crisis. Ours is not helped by our high debt and low income levels. With the economy still growing, but investor confidence low, government being compelled to cut down capital expenditures will eventually lead to job losses unless…”.
But Professor Bokpin said the IMF conversation has been around for some time now and government should have signed onto a programme long ago.
“The conversation has been around for some time now. Probably the due time for Ghana to have signed onto the programme should have been somewhere last April  and probably could have been included in the 2022 budget.”
“Government had confidence in the 2022 budget but not all of us including investors and stakeholders. Government felt that there were enough policies reforms in the 2022 budget that will have assured investors of a certain sustainable fiscal pathway that will bring down the debt or tame the budget. We realised overly faster than government that that wasn’t going to work.