A statement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has exposed a deliberate attempt by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to undermine the integrity of the government and other institutions, especially the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
The NPP has always sought to downplay realistic figures presented by government to some of the international institutions, insinuating that government and the state institutions cook figures to outwit Ghana’s partners.
The NPP Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Mr. Kweku Kwarteng exposed his party’s calculated plans to destroy Ghana’s international image by misinterpreting a statement by the IMF’s Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, Sanjeev Gupta, to claim that figures the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Statistical Service present to the public and the IMF are skewed to deceive them.
Similar to comments by Mahamadu Bawumia, running mate of the NPP in the last two elections, who is also former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Kwarteng sought to ridicule and spoil Ghana’s image to the international community as though the country is being ruled by a dishonest government.
Sanjee Gupta had disclosed at the Fiscal Monitor Report briefing in Washington that, “the debt-to-GDP ratio in Ghana is 71%, not 60%; so it is much higher than you mentioned”.
Though the information came from a reliable source, it was expected that, as a member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Mr. Kwarteng would seek further clarification and be circumspect in his public comments, but the legislator took to the NPP’s usual schemes to win cheap political points by stating that it confirmed his suspicion that government was not truthful with economic figures. “if you lie about your economy and you get the support that you do not deserve, in the end, the problems will still be there and it will only lead to more problems,” he alleged.
However, before his colleagues in the NPP could do what they are best at, the IMF has quickly come out to clarify issues, shaming the NPP for plotting mischief against the ruling National democratic Congress (NDC) government.
In a statement to clear the air, the IMF insisted that, “the latest actual figure available to IMF staff for end-2013 is equivalent to 56 percent of GDP, consistent with the figures released by the Bank of Ghana.”
To put the minds of doubting Thomases at peace the IMF explained that, “The number (71%) corresponds to the level projected at end-2015 under our baseline scenario published in the World Economic Outlook, which assumes the continuation of current economic policies (very gradual fiscal adjustment in 2015, a more depreciated exchange rate, and lower growth related to remaining high vulnerabilities).”
The statement puts the matter to rest and exposes the NPP’s unpatriotic nature that has seen them making false claims to the IMF in the past to gain cheap favour and political gains.
Ghana is in talks with the IMF on a bailout that is expected to ease the pressure on the economy and bring a new lease of life into the Ghanaian system.
The bailout is seen as a good attempt at changing the fortunes of the nation. The NPP, conscious of the benefits and changes Ghanaians would gain from it, is misleading the public on the whole thing.
A better economy would certainly close the chapter on the party’s quest for victory in the 2016 elections since the party’s campaign was to be focused on the performance of the economy, especially the local currency. The Cedi has started a giant rise that could be enhanced by the IMF intervention. This would then nail the coffin on the NPP’s chances.