Deputy Majority leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin

The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, says the Akufo-Addo-led government’s venture with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not a sign that the government has failed.

According to him, the government is merely responding to the economy, and what the economy needs is the support the IMF deal offers.

He explained that it is a difficult time to be in government due to the global economic crisis, and taking into consideration the downgrade by international rating agencies and the fleeing of foreign investors it was only right that the government moved to the IMF to ensure the confidence of investors.

He added that had the local interventions instituted by government worked as they were projected to, there would not have been a need for the IMF.

“There is the need to get some support given the circumstance. Like the E-levy that we introduced, the government was optimistic” however, the levy had failed to live up to expectations.

“At our ports because of the value chain being affected by the global crisis, we are not getting the inflows the way we expect it. So if all of these are coming in to play, the effect is what had pushed government to seek support from the IMF.”

Reacting to an earlier statement by Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, who had stated that any government that runs to the IMF has failed, he said, “I don’t think we reconcile on this matter.”

Meanwhile, JoyNews has learnt that the earliest the International Monetary Fund can take a decision on whether to give Ghana a deal will be in the first quarter of 2023.

This is according to sources close to the Fund.

The revelation follows a crunch meeting between IMF officials and Parliament’s Finance Committee on Tuesday 12th July, 2022.

A source within the Finance Committee who was privy to conversation with the IMF told JoyNews’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwaku Asante, that the Fund is seriously concerned about the country’s debt position and will undertake a debt sustainability analysis before agreeing on a deal with government.

The Minority side of the Committee had also raised issues over government’s debt and tasked the IMF to ensure a deal that would not worsen the country’s debt position.

It also emerged at this closed-door meeting that the earliest government can hope to get a deal with the IMF is at the end of the first quarter of 2023 despite the precarious economy situation which needs immediate assistance.

The IMF team also raised issues about the country’s international reserves and tasked both sides of the political divide to find means to shore up.

On July 1, 2022, government announced that it was seeking a bailout with the IMF after months of the cedi’s free-fall and hikes in fuel prices.

This was despite insistence by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and President Akufo-Addo that Ghana will not return to the IMF.