IMF Discussion: Govt’s fear is data reconciliation and disclosure – Economist
Adnan Adams Mohammed
As Ghana has begun a crucial discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for debt management and policy credibility, an economist has intuited that, many government officials fear the aspect of data reconciliation and disclosures.
The renowned economist with University of Cape Coast (UCC) urged government not to give in to the negative attitude of some fear government officials who fear the reconciliation and full disclosure of data, especially on procurement, and therefore advocating against the IMF program.
Government of Ghana started IMF Program Discussion, last week, seeking ‘a balance of payment support’ as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia Ukraine crises.
But, speaking to an Accra based radio station, Top Fm, last week when the economist was asked about what could be some details about the IMF discussion with the government, he said, there will be economic and financial data reconciliation and full disclosures with the involvement of the Ghana Statistical Service, Ghana Revenue Authority and Bank of Ghana.
“Given the pronouncement by some key government officials in the past, it suggests that not all of them may like the decision, especially when disclosures will be required on many issues”, Prof John Gatsi, Dean of the Department of Finance at UCC, posited when asked about how he sees the commitment and unity of purpose of government officials towards IMF program. “Data credibility and transparency will be the starting point of the formal discussion with the IMF.”
He added that starting an engagement with the IMF and discontinue can signal more doubt about economic management leadership and package the economy as risky to associate with.
He said any divided commitment to the discussion will isolate Ghana as confidence and policy credibility will diminish further.
As he indicated that a lot may unfold this week as there is no prior engagement with stakeholders before the announcement, it is difficult to conclude whether or not the purpose of going to the IMF is in line with the real problem.
Prof. Gatsi explained that the problem of the Ghanaian economy is more of debt distress with contagion effect hence debt restructuring maybe what is needed but the outcome of the engagement with the IMF team will conclude on that.