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IMF bailout: Government must spend wisely, says economist

Ebo Turkson of the Department of Economics, University of Ghana says “fiscal discipline is key” to keep Ghana on track after receiving US$3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) support

Ebo Turkson, associate professor of development economics at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana, has called on the government to ensure fiscal discipline after securing a US$3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) support.

The IMF executive board approved Ghana’s request for a US$3 billion bailout to support the country’s economic recovery on May 17. The Fund said its support programme for the country will focus on reining in inflation and rebuilding the country’s foreign reserve buffers.

The backing comes after Ghana last week clinched financial assurances from a bilateral creditors group co-chaired by China and France.

Touching on the development, Turkson said after receiving approval for the low interest loan from the IMF, “fiscal discipline is key” to keep Ghana’s economy on track.


“We must give assurance to our investors that we are not going to engage in profligate spending to take us back,” the economist said on Asaase 99.5 Accra’s weekend news analysis show – The Forum – on Saturday (20 May).

“Credibility is most important,” he told the sit-in host Wilberforce Asare. “And that comes with this IMF support. By this we’ll be able to reassure our investors that we are credible and they can do business with us.”

Turkson said the government must religiously follow the terms of the IMF’s economic recovery programme “even after exiting it” while calling on successive governments to do same.

“We need to have a fiscal compact that every government will follow. No government can develop this economy within four or eight years. We can only contribute to the effort of changing the development of the country,” he said.

According to him, under the IMF programme “we are going to have some tough times coming up but things would have been worst without it.”

The Bank of Ghana has received the first tranche of US$600 million of a US$3 billon three-year rescue loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the finance ministry announced on Friday (19 May).

Confirming receipt of the cash, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the money will be used for balance of payment and budget support, as well as to “stabilise the foreign exchange rate” and reduce inflation.

Ghana is expecting the next tranche of funds by June 2023. All the funds will be directly deposited into the Bank of Ghana’s account to support Ghana’s balance of payments requirements.


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