Former President John Dramani Mahama has said there appears to be no end to the problems facing the Ghanaian economy and has, thus, reiterated his call for a national dialogue on the economy.
This national dialogue, he said, will bring the best brains in the country together to jaw-jaw on the best way to move the economy forward, as Ghana prepares for debt restructuring and negotiation of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
Mr Mahama’s suggestion comes on the back of the recent downgrading of Ghana’s debt credibility from B-/B to CCC+/C with a negative outlook.
In a Facebook post, Mr Mahama noted: “The steep depreciation of the Ghana cedi in recent days, clearly shows that the mid-year review of the 2022 budget failed to win back the confidence of the investor community and the Ghanaian public”.
“Unfortunately,” he noted, “no credible remedial plans have been put forward by the government to salvage the economy.”
He stressed that “a national dialogue on the economy, bringing some of our best brains together will serve us well, even as we prepare for debt restructuring and negotiation of an IMF programme.”
Meanwhile, the government says it is disappointed by the decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Ghana despite the “bold” policies implemented in 2022 to address macro-fiscal challenges and debt sustainability, which, it noted, have been “significantly exacerbated” by the impact of global external shocks such as Covid and the Russia-Ukraine war on the economy.
The government, in its response through a statement released by the Finance Ministry, said it will continue to be proactive in addressing the impact of external and domestic headwinds on the economy and on the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians.
The government said it has implemented key revenue and expenditure measures, including the 30% cut in discretionary expenditures.
“The delays in the passage of key revenue measures introduced in the 2022 budget affected revenues performance in the first half of the year,” the statement explained.
However, it said all the revenue measures introduced in the 2022 budget, including the review of the MDA fees and charges bill, the tax exemption bill, and the e-levy bill, have now been promulgated by parliament.
These fiscal measures, the statement noted, are now in full implementation mode “to support our fiscal and debt sustainability”.
The government said it is committed and is confident that it will successfully emerge from these challenges in the shortest possible time.