The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has indicated that there is no going back to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as far as the Government of Ghana is concerned.
He made this known on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, as he presented the 2021 expenditure in advance of appropriation.
According to him, “HIPC is behind us. Economic mismanagement is behind us.”
He recounted that “in 2001, Ghana had no choice but to swallow her pride and to sign up to the HIPC initiative, a legacy left by the outgoing NDC government.”
“Thankfully, President J.A. Kufuor got us to completion point in record time and came out of HIPC. By 2014, barely 2 years in office, President Mahama’s ‘homegrown’ economic policy had failed and Ghana signed up once again onto an IMF programme.”
“The Akufo-Addo Govt took Ghana out of the IMF Programme in record time. Ironically, those who mismanage the economy for us to come and fix it are the one’s wishing Ghana ill. My message to them is this; there is no turning back.”
He stated that the economy is stronger today than it was four years ago, and will continue to grow stronger and stronger with four more years to do more for the people of Ghana, with God’s help.
He urged that “we must be careful as a nation to reject those who return from the Promised Land, with a bad report to subvert the spirit of our people and to reject leaders who would take us back to Egypt.”
“In our quest to stabilize the economy, we have also lowered the rate of debt accumulation, re-profiled our debt, and, implemented a number of structural reforms in a transparent manner for an efficient and effective management of public debt.
11.Mr. Speaker, these significant macro-fiscal gains were achieved in spite of having:
i. paid GH¢12 billion in excess energy capacity charges which we inherited in 2017, and have kept the lights on;
ii. settled substantial part of the GH¢11 billion
outstanding arrears bequeathed to us;
iii. abolished 17 unproductive taxes to boost productivity of the private sector;
iv. spent GH¢ 21.6 billion to clean-up a collapsing financial sector and protected 4.6 million depositors and 81,700 investors.”
“That is the competent governance, hard work and God’s hand that has delivered us.”
“for fair-minded observers, the above economic indicators are clear evidence of the sharp and stark difference between a competent Akufo-Addo-led Government and others.”
“these gains have not been at the expense of our promise to improve the welfare of fellow Ghanaians. In fact, the issue of welfare is very dear to President Akufo-Addo and his government. For this reason, we invested in excess of GH¢15.7 billion on key flagship programmes.”
The NDC had claimed that President Akufo-Addo has returned Ghana to HIPC.
However, the IMF says NDC’s claim was “deceptive.”
By Melvin Tarlue