A former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, has stated that government is placing too much emphasis on COVID-19, as the cause of the country’s economic challenges.
According to him, though he acknowledges the global impact of the pandemic, there are other weighty mistakes which have contributed to the country’s current fiscal woes.
Speaking in an interview with Bernice Abu-Baidoo Lansah on the AM Show on Monday, he explained that, the former National Democratic Congress regime created a lot of robust structures which could have prevented the economy from getting to its current decline.
The former Minister under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, however, indicated that these structures and buffers have been run down by the current regime; leading to the country’s proposed return to the IMF.
“You can’t attribute everything to COVID. Ghana had oil. Ghana was using her oil. We were blessed. Whatever the oil was used [for], they should explain and not be putting the blame on President Mahama. I’m here to defend that record, because it’s there and I’ve told you [about] the buffers and things in our plan … Yes I’m not in denial. COVID is severe. And it’s worst than global financial crisis. That I admit,” he stated.
In his submissions, the former Finance Minister further intimated that, the lack of fiscal discipline on the path of the current Akufo-Addo administration also accounts for the country’s decision to seek support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Meanwhile, a team from the IMF is expected to arrive in Ghana on Wednesday, July 6 to begin negotiations with government on the economic support it is seeking.
The IMF officials – comprising senior officers from the Fund and local staff – will meet the Finance Ministry, the Economic Management Team and the Presidency to among other things deliberate on the modalities for a package to support Ghana’s ailing economy.
Details of the bailout programme and its conditionalities will be made public after several engagements.