Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper speaking on the AM Show on Monday, on Ghana's application to the IMF

A former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, has stated that government is placing too much emphasis on COVID-19, as the cause of the country’s economic challenges.

According to him, even though he acknowledges the global impact of the pandemic, there are other weighty mistakes which have contributed to the country’s current fiscal woes.

Speaking in an interview with Bernice Abu-Baidoo Lansah on the AM Show on Monday, he explained that, the former NDC regime created a lot of robust structures which could have prevented the economy from getting to its current decline.

The former Minister under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, however, indicated that these structures and buffers have been run down by the current regime; leading to the country’s proposed return to the IMF.

“You can’t attribute everything to COVID. Ghana had oil. Ghana was using her oil. We were blessed. Whatever the oil was used [for], they should explain and not be putting the blame on President Mahama. I’m here to defend that record, because it’s there and I’ve told you [about] the buffers and things in our plan … Yes I’m not I denial. COVID is severe. And it’s worst than global financial crisis. That I admit”, he stated.

In his submissions, the Former Finance Minister further intimated that the lack of fiscal discipline on the part of the Akufo-Addo administration also accounts for the country’s decision to seek support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a statement on Friday, July 1, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah revealed that President Akufo-Addo has instructed the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to engage the IMF to support a programme on Ghana’s economy.

The news of this development triggered widespread public reactions, with a chunk of citizens, decrying the move.

As an expression of their anger, hundreds of aggrieved Ghanaians took to the Facebook page of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to campaign against any fiscal support for the country.

In a series of comments monitored by Myjoyonline.com, the aggrieved nationals made suggestions to the effect that President Akufo-Addo and his team have mismanaged the country’s resources, and therefore undeserving of any assistance.

“Have you been approached by Ken Ofori Atta? The finance minister of Omofia (Ghana). He will come and do his face mobomobo but odeishe don’t mind him. When he comes, tell him to go for MTN Quick loan wai”, one of the aggrieved persons wrote.

Meanwhile, a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to arrive in Ghana on Wednesday, July 6 to begin negotiations with government on the economic support it is seeking.

The IMF officials – comprising senior officers from the Fund and local staff – will meet the Finance Ministry, the Economic Management Team and the Presidency during their stay, according to reports.

Among other reasons, their visit to the country would largely involve deliberations on the modalities for a package to support Ghana’s ailing economy.

It is expected that details of the bailout programme and its conditionalities will be made public after several engagements.