In a closed-door meeting in the Netherlands with the President, the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva went out of her way to tell Ghanaians that contrary to the narrative from some opposition elements that Ghana is not in these challenges because of any bad policies of the Akufo-Addo administration, but due to exogenous factors.
The IMF lady went outside the established IMF tradition of non-interference in the internal politics of its client nations by stressing, “We have started very constructive discussions already and to the people of Ghana, like everybody on this planet, you have been hurt by exogenous shocks.”
For her part, Akufo-Addo did well in getting the IMF to finalize negotiations by the end of the year. Most likely, there are no plans beyond December, and any further delay would be catastrophic.
For Ms. Kristalina Georgieva’s statements specially crafted for Ghanaian consumption, and perhaps designed to help an elderly statesman who is not running for re-election, I will say this: A conclusion reached by a logical analysis of the facts on the ground cannot be supplanted by a mere pronouncements from Ms. Georgieva, no matter the height of her expertise.
Here is why:
- Why is our neighbor, Cote d’Ivoire with almost the same GDP, located almost at the same location on the globe, equally impacted by Covid 19 and the Ukraine war, not asked for IMF help?
- If the two conditions above impacted the world, some even worse than Ghana, why are some not at the IMF, and we are? Why is Togo, for example, not at the IMF? One cause cannot be used to explain two opposite effects.
- Ghana goes to IMF because of Covid 19 and the war in Ukraine; Togo does not go to IMF because of Covid 19 and the war in Ukraine. This is counterfeit logic; there must be another explanation for being at the IMF!
- Just these two examples above indicate that the answer to why Ghana is at the IMF cannot be solely attributed to Covid 19 and the Ukraine war, contrary to what the IMF director is saying.
- Ghana’s situation is like the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Those who were wise brought with them extra oil for their lamps. The foolish ones never considered they could run out of oil. So it is with us. In late 2019, before Covid 19 hit, we had all the indications of economic distress. The Covid was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
- We had no safety net because we were borrowing to run the government. When a business has to continuously borrow to operate, that business is effectively bankrupt. This is where we were before Covid came. Like the foolish virgins, we did not plan for unforeseen circumstances; we couldn’t because loans were our primary source of financial support. Everything that could be collateralized for loans was collateralized.
- When Covid 19 hit, the World Bank and the IMF gave us big grants to help manage the emergency. The Minister of Finance announced to Parliament that the World Bank had given Ghana a grant of 100 million dollars for Covid 19.
- To our utter shock, the World Bank Director made it known on the radio that the amount given to Ghana to fight Covid 19 was 530 million dollars. This is not just mismanagement; this is thievery! To date, that money has not been accounted for. Why is Ms. Georgieva talking as if corruption is now part of good governance?
- This thievery has been amplified by the 2021 Auditor General’s report. The question to be asked is, are there any sectors of the economy that have not been ravaged by thievery and corruption?
- I will cut it short. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so look at this picture:
I would venture to say that Nana Addo must have appealed to the IMF boss for help in dispelling the narrative that Ghana is in trouble because of mismanagement, thievery, and incompetence. If that were the case, it is in order for him to ask for such help.
But it is not in order for the IMF boss to describe a country on its knees as a “superb country.” Such a statement is irresponsible because it does not hold the government accountable for the mishandling of the economy.
- A serious leader cannot drive around in long gas-gosling Land Cruiser convoys and fly around in expensive private jets, and at the same time beg for financial help. There is something wrong with such a picture, and it goes to show lack of solidarity with the ordinary Ghanaian struggling to put food on the table as the UK High Commission said, children without food in schools, and patients sleeping on the floor in hospitals.
- When the IMF makes the statements it made, it has effectively been co-opted as the propaganda mouthpiece of the government. It means the IMF itself has been corrupted to make such illogically demeaning statements to Ghanaians.
The IMF Director should not assume that Ghanaians are illiterates and undiscerning, devoid of reasoning, and prone to accept anything that comes from Europeans. The IMF has in effect absolved the government of mismanagement even before Covid came.
I wonder what the IMF would say about the AG’s 2021 audit report, especially about the rampant corruption and thievery. One suggestion comes to mind: “Stealing and corruption is as old as Adam and Eve!” Or perhaps Covid brought along one of his one-armed bandits called John Poblik Loota?
- A government that spends billions on so-called banking cleanup, ID cards and voters’ register every four years, and huge judgment debt cannot be called anything else but INCOMPETENT!
- The IMF should desist from its condescending attitude when it comes to dealing with Africans.
Good governance includes submission of accurate records, accountability, transparency and
- We are not children; neither are we imbeciles.
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