Mahama urges government to use second tranche of IMF money wisely

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Former President John Mahama is advising the government to use caution when applying the recently authorized $600 million IMF bailout to ease Ghanaians’ financial hardships.

Following Ghana’s successful completion of the 2023 Article IV consultation and the first review of the 36-month Extended Credit Facility arrangement, the disbursement was approved by the IMF Executive Board on January 19, 2024.

Mahama expressed worry about the ongoing struggles Ghanaians face and emphasized that the Akufo-Addo-led government needs to make sure the money is spent wisely to alleviate the suffering of the people.

Even after the first tranche was released last year, Mahama claims that problems still face Ghanaians.

“Under normal circumstances, the release of $600 million by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the government of Ghana should provide relief to the already overburdened and suffering Ghanaian. It is, however, evident that Ghanaians will continue to suffer as long as the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia and NPP remain in office,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

“Implementing VAT on electricity consumption will increase tariffs by almost 21% and exacerbate the hardship on Ghanaians. This will affect the prices of goods, services, and transport fares. I agree with organised labour that the government must reverse its decision to start collecting VAT on electricity consumption.”

In the press release on social media, Mr. Mahama emphasized how the new Value-Added Tax (VAT) might affect how much electricity is consumed and cautioned that it might raise tariffs, which would raise the cost of goods, services, and transportation.

Acknowledging that the NDC is prepared to tackle Ghana’s economic issues and offer assistance upon taking office in January 2025, Mr. Mahama emphasized the significance of handling the IMF funds with caution and responsibility. He also urged the NDC minority in parliament to closely monitor and question the actions of the government.

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