An Economist, Dr. Patrick Assuming, is predicting severe hardships for Ghanaians in the coming months following the country’s receipt of $600 million, being the first tranche of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $3 billion three-year extended credit support.
The senior lecturer with the University of Ghana entreated Ghanaians to brace themselves up as they will experience more hardships than what they are currently facing.
Ghana received the first tranche of the IMF cash yesterday, Friday, May 19.
While confirming this to Citi News, Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said: “Yes, that’s the confirmation I have. As we have mentioned, there are supposed to be 7 different disbursements, the first being the $600 million received on the back of conclusion of the approval by the IMF Board”.
Dr. Assuming feared that with the many IMF conditionalities which the government has to deal with, Ghanaians are likely to suffer some shocks.
Speaking on Citi TV/Citi FM‘s political show, the Big Issue hosted by Selorm Adonoo, the Economist said, “It’s good that we finally get the programme [IMF deal]. When you study the programme’s document, you will come to the conclusion that it’s really the start of a difficult journey, rather than an end to our problems. We have been to IMF 17 times, it seems to me that this particular programme is the one that will impose probably the heftiest hardships on Ghanaians”.
Dr. Assuming charged the government not to rest on its oars but to ensure that structural changes are effected to move Ghana away from further severe economic crisis.
He asserted, “If you look at the prior actions we have had to take in order to get here, you can readily tell, starting with the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDEP), you can tell the impact of the DDEP on financials of the banks. What we hope is that if we are paying this kind of hefty price, by way of what the DDEP has done, and the new taxes that we are going to pay… Ghanaians and businesses are going to pay a huge chunk aside from what we have already done.
“It will be a real travesty if we don’t take advantage of such a heavy economic crisis and pay such a heavy price to make fundamental structural changes that will ensure that we stay away from this trouble for a very long time at the minimum”.