Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah

The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has questioned why government is hesitant about going to the International Monetary Fund, to seek economic assistance.

“So why is government afraid of going back to the IMF? Is it because of the restrictions on how much they can blow on luxurious jets, on family and friends and other wasteful expenditures? The revelations of our true economic crisis? Or what?”, he wrote on Twitter.

Sulemana Braimah’s comments come at a time when some economic experts, are calling on government to abandon the proposed 1.75% E-levy, and turn to the IMF for the necessary economical cushion.

Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM, a former Member of Parliament for the New Juaben constituency, Mark Assibey-Yeboah, disputed government’s claims that the introduction of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) is the solution to generating more revenue to resuscitate the economy post-Covid-19.

According to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) politician, government should halt the passage of the E-levy Bill and consider seeking financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He stressed that so many exemptions could make it difficult for government to generate the projected ¢6.9 billion from the E-levy.

“If I were the Finance Minister, I will be convincing the President that it is about time we went back [to IMF]. In my estimation, the maximum amount we can get from the E-levy is ¢5 billion, which is less than a billion dollars. So I do not think that the E-levy is going to be a panacea to our revenue. Going to the IMF will ensure some stability, and above all, we are going to get some $3 billion”, he stated.

But responding to calls for government to forget the E-levy and resort to the IMF for a bailout, MP for Sekondi and Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Agyapa Mercer said an IMF bailout is an additional loan that will further deepen Ghana’s debt challenges and impose restrictions on government’s spending in critical sectors of the economy.

Speaking at a townhall meeting at Sekondi on Wednesday, he said the much touted IMF bailout is not the answer to Ghana’s challenges. He therefore called on Ghanaians to support the E-levy in order to make the dreams of Ghanaians a reality.