Osafo Maafo assures review of IMF deal

The Senior Minister-designate says the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) would review the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s programme entered by the previous government.

Yaw Osafo Maafo says a non-review of the programme would affect government’s policy objectives implementation.

“The current programme literary squeezes all the fiscal space out and therefore from the point of view of the NPP, the IMF programme has to be reviewed,” he said.

The former Finance Minister made these comments when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Friday for vetting.

The outgone National Democratic Congress (NDC) government signed onto a $918 million extended credit facility programme with the IMF in 2015.

The programme is aimed at restoring debt sustainability, macroeconomic stability and spurring on high economic growth and job creation in the country.

Ghana has since September, 2016 received the sum of $464.6 million from the Fund. The programme would come to an end in 2017.

Critics took a swipe at former President John Mahama for signing onto the programme at a time his government was borrowing money at a throat cutting interest from the international financial market.

It was later revealed that the deal did not receive the approval of Parliament.

Responding to calls to review the deal, the former President told members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in August that the deal would be Ghana’s “ultimate IMF programme.”

But Mr Osafo Maafo said he had hinted an official of the international financial body that Ghana would ask for a review of the deal.

He explained apart from the constraints posed by the deal to government, the IMF itself would call for a review because the country has not been able to meet the set targets.

“The IMF works along to achieve targets they set between government and the IMF and so far most of the targets have been missed,” he disclosed.

He said out of the economic growth end of the year set at 5.3 percent for the country, what the previous government achieved was 3.3 percent.

Mr Osafo Maafo also revealed the deficit set for Ghana was not to exceed 5 percent, but figures he had seen from Bank of Ghana projects the deficit to be between 8 and 9 percent.

These development, he said are enough to compel the Fund to request for a review of the deal because Ghana has not met the targets.

“Therefore the programme would certainly been reviewed from two angles from the targets angle and from our own need to factor in our manifesto and our objectives in governance,” he said.

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