Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a prominent member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has suggested that Ghana is going to the IMF because Parliament thwarted the government’s attempts to pass policies to revive the economy.
On July 1, President Akufo-Addo gave the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the order to start formal discussions with the IMF.
The engagement will involve asking the Fund to support an economic plan developed by the government, according to a statement signed by Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the minister of information.
The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorized Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to Support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana,” the statement said.
The government claims that the IMF assistance will, among other things, “support Ghana’s balance of payment in a broader effort to hasten Ghana’s buildback in the face of challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently, the Russia-Ukraine crisis.”
In an interview with Joy Newsfile on Saturday, Gabby Otchere-Darko placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Parliament, claiming that if they had passed the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) on time, the government would not have been forced to turn to the Fund.
“There were challenges; yes, government came with its policies to see how to address those challenges and those policies were frustrated by the very Parliament that we have. Yes, we are in a difficulty but if you are government and don’t intend to go to the IMF but you are put in a situation where your avenues for raising revenue are being closed – whether through parliamentary action or by public rejection – then you have to tackle it,” Gabby Otchere-Darko said.
“Government brings a programme to parliament you fight against it . . . when it takes you six months to pass a policy, and it’s a policy of taxation, what happens? It’s easy for the opposition to lash around it and then build public sentiment against it because this tax would have affected a lot of people but then that’s the only way.
“I think when you have an opposition party which believes that nothing matters than political capitalisation of situations and can go out to the public and say that ‘yes, praise us because we stopped the government from getting its way in raising revenue to solve the situation and the problems facing the ordinary Ghanaian,’ then I think those are the things we need to focus on,” he said.