A senior lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Cape Coast (UCC,) Dr. James Atta Peprah, says President John Dramani Mahama has no business going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to seek for solution(s) to the country’s ailing economy.
According to him, the solutions to the country’s numerous economic problems are not far-fetched and should not warrant the assistance of the IMF.
The approach by the president, the UCC lecturer said, was a ploy to seek solace in the IMF for the sinking image of his [President Mahama’s] ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“There is nothing new to negotiate and I don’t see what the government intends to achieve out of this Ghana-IMF negotiations,” the economics lecturer asserted.
He was commenting on the recent IMF-Ghana negotiations on Ghana, Great and Strong, a non-partisan programme broadcast every Saturday from 7:00P.M., to 8:00 P.M., on Ghana’s premier internet-based radio,www.hejorleonlineradio.com.
Dr. Peprah recounted the number of times Ghana had gone to the IMF since the country attained independence.
And he wondered why successive governments have not found a lasting solution to all the economic problems that usually affected the country.
He likened Ghana’s current situation to a patient who has gone to see a doctor and has been told to take six tablets of drug a day.
He said it was up to the patient to either take the drugs or not if he or she wanted to live longer.
So many prescriptions, according to the UCC lecturer, were given to Ghana since it started going to the IMF, but said the country has never taken those “economic prescriptions.”
The IMF, he said, was only there to offer advice on how to run an efficient and effective economy for countries.
“President Mahama and his NDC government must do well to put in place home-grown policies that can help the economy to bounce back,” he stressed.
What is lacking in this administration, Dr. Peprah mentioned, was fiscal discipline in all sectors of the economy.
Contributing to the programme another senior lecturer at the Department of African Studies at the UCC, Mr. Douglas Frimpong Nuru, lamented leakages in the financial system.
He therefore underscored the need for government to do more to ensure that all the leakages in the country’s tax regime were plugged.
“I’m not against government seeking bailout from the IMF but the point is government must ensure that we protect the scare resources that we have before going to the Bretton Woods for assistance,” he advised.
According to the African Studies lecturer, the only way Ghana’s meeting with the IMF would be successful is when the country put in pragmatic measures for economic sustainability.
That, Dr. Nuro said, required political will from government to prosecute all corrupt officials who would misappropriate state funds.
For his part, host of the programme, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, called on government to heed the numerous advices by technocrats on how to help the economy regain its strength.
He bemoaned the posture of successive governments for always rushing to the IMF anytime there was a problem
“For how long will we continue to run to the IMF for assistance, “Dr. Nduom quizzed.
It would be recalled that in the wake of Ghana’s economic difficulties, President Mahama directed his Economic Management Team to open talks with the IMF.
Following this, a delegation from IMF came to Ghana last week to meet with the country’s economic team headed by Dr. Kwesi Botchwey.
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