The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has praised the Government of Ghana’s commitment to the Fund’s three-year bailout programme following a successful implementation in the first year.
At a forum in Accra to review the gains and shortfalls of the country’s economy since the bailout was rolled out last year, Resident Representative of the Fund, Natalia Koliadina, noted that the first year has seen much progress.
“We are almost close to the end of the first year of the programme and I will say it was quite successful. The programme was approved last April and since then, two reviews have been completed. I am looking forward to the second year and our third review,” she said on Tuesday 29 March 2016.
Ghana signed up for the programme in April 2015 after fiscal challenges triggered 12% over-expenditure in the 2012 budget.
The country received an initial $144.8 million dollars in April 2015 and an additional $115 million in August.
Meanwhile, Head of department at the University of Ghana Business School, Professor Godfred Bokpin, is urging government to ensure strong fiscal discipline in this year’s election to sustain the progress achieved, so far.”My hope and prayer is that government will walk their talk. I can anchor my hope on something else – the IMF programme, which covers the election year and the fact that there is a zero financing of the budget deficit from the central bank, but this is just a rule”.
Prof Bokpin entreated that whoever replaces retiring governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Henry Wampah, should not be pressured to overspend, but commit to fiscal discipline to prevent any negative effects on the economy.
“The new governor should be committed to the IMF programme and build on the operational independence that programme guarantees the central bank. That could moderate the expenditure in an election year without recording large fiscal deficits that will destroy the fundamentals of the economy,” he added.