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IMF Forces Gov’t To Come Clean on Massaged Economic Figures

The Akufo Addo administration has been exposed in what is apparently a scheme to cook economic figures to make the Ghanaian economy look good but have been forced to vomit the real figures when the government raced to the IMF on March 30, 2020, to seek a credit facility to mitigate the effects of Covid-19.
 
Whatsup News has intercepted a copy of the April 20, 2020 document capturing the figures presented to the IMF, which exposed, for instance, the fact that in the 2020 budget statement presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to the Ghanaians Parliament and citizens, he explicitly stated that the administration had been prudent in its spending such that the budget deficit or overspending was just 3.9% in 2018 and 4.5% and 2019.
 
However, in reality, as presented to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a pre-condition to access some US$ 1 billion Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), the government was forced to produce the true figures on deficit, which shows that the government had spent doubly above what it presented in the 2020 budget.
 
For 2018, the true budget deficit was 7% and for 2019, it was 7.5% as presented to the IMF.
 
Also, in terms of Ghana’s international reserves, the Finance Minister painted a glowing picture which was far from the reality. According to the 2020 budget, Ghana had international reserves of US$ 6.8 billion in 2018, covering 3.6 months of import cover and US$ 8.1 billion, covering 4.1 months of import cover.
 
“The stock of Gross International Reserves amounted to US$8.1 billion at end-September 2019 to cover 4.1 months of imports, compared to the US$6.8 billion or 3.6 months import cover recorded in the same period of 2018,” stated the Finance Minister in the budget.
 
However, the reality as presented to the IMF is that Ghana’s International reserves were way lower and covered fewer months of import cover for the country in case of emergency than was presented in the budget. The figures presented to the IMF shows that in 2018, Ghana actually had US$5.32 billion (covering only 2.8 months of imports in case of emergency). In 2019, the situation was that Ghana had just 3.5 months of import cover at US$6.68 billion, instead of the 4.1-month import cover and an amount of US$8.1 billion stated by the Finance Minister.  
 
 This revelation vindicates views expressed by critics that the Akufo Addo administration is massaging figures to make the Ghanaian economy look good to citizens, but had been exposed by the outbreak of Covid-19, which forced the government to go cup-in-hand to the IMF to borrow some money to salvage the economy. Because the IMF scrutinizes economic figures more vigorously, the government was left no choice but to come clean.
 
Late March 2020, the grounding of the Ghanaians economy by the deadly Covid-19 Coronavirus forced the government to race to the IMF to beg for a US$ 1 billion credit facility to save it from imminent economic collapse. However, to access that amount, the IMF required the government to be honest with its economic figures, hence the exposed discrepancies with the figures that Ken Ofori-Atta presented to Ghanaians a few months ago in the 2020 budget statement.
 
 
 
 
 

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