Former President John Mahama has urged the government to take caution in using the newly agreed $600 million IMF bailout to address Ghanaians’ economic issues.
The payout, agreed by the IMF Executive Board on January 19, 2024, comes after Ghana successfully completed the 2023 Article IV consultation and the first review of the 36-month Extended Credit Facility arrangement.
Concerned about the ongoing challenges suffered by Ghanaians, Mahama stated that the Akufo-Addo administration must ensure that the money are used wisely to provide assistance to the suffering populace.
Despite the delivery of the first tranche last year, Mahama claims Ghanaians continue to face hardships.
“Under normal circumstances, the release of $600 million by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the government of Ghana should provide relief to the already overburdened and suffering Ghanaian. It is, however, evident that Ghanaians will continue to suffer as long as the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia and NPP remain in office,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
In the social media communiqué, Mr. Mahama emphasized the possible impact of the upcoming Value-Added Tax (VAT) on power use, warning that it might raise rates, resulting in increased prices for products, services, and transportation.
“Implementing VAT on electricity consumption will increase tariffs by almost 21% and exacerbate the hardship on Ghanaians. This will affect the prices of goods, services, and transport fares. I agree with organised labour that the government must reverse its decision to start collecting VAT on electricity consumption.”
While conceding that the NDC is prepared to handle Ghana’s economic issues and give assistance when it takes government in January 2025, Mr. Mahama emphasized the significance of careful and cautious management of IMF funding. He also urged the NDC minority in parliament to conduct rigorous oversight and investigate the government’s actions.
“I have already encouraged the NDC minority in parliament to ensure strict oversight on both the government and not to take their eyes off the Bank of Ghana that illegally printed billions of cedis and aggravated our economic situation.”