A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to arrive in Ghana on Tuesday, July 5 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.

A statement issued by the Finance Ministry added that after their arrival on Tuesday, in-person meetings with the government would begin on Wednesday, July 6.

IMF officials expected in Ghana on July 5 to assess bailout request
Finance Ministry statement

“The Ministry further takes this opportunity to assure Ghanaians of the government’s commitment to successfully negotiate a programme with the IMF in the coming months in support of Ghana’s economic recovery.”

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.

Government’s decision to seek economic refuge from the Fund has been received with mixed reactions as some, especially members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), argue it has been long overdue.

Some have also expressed concerns over what the move could mean for public sector jobs and social programmes with organised labour kicking against the decision.

Already, there are growing calls for President Akufo-Addo to sack the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, for a new face to lead the IMF discussions.

Former President John Mahama in a Facebook post said Mr Ofori-Atta has already lost his credibility, trust and confidence after he supervised “the disastrous collapse of the economy.”

He added that the Finance Minister should not be added to the team of negotiators engaging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for economic support.

But these calls have been rejected by government officials who say the Minister and other government appointees rather need support and assistance to succeed.

Reacting to former President Mahama’s call for the ouster of Ken Ofori-Atta, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Gabby Otchere-Darko, said that the Minister has shown creativity and innovation in his management of the economy.

The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says justifications for Ken Ofori-Atta to step down are neither here nor there.

“If you look at the work that our Finance Minister has led us to do in the first past before this pandemic hit us, it will not support that argument that because he was initially of the view that we can do this domestically, he should be fired. I don’t think so,” he said.