Anybody can be president if all we do is to run to IMF every time – Kwesi Pratt fumes
Anybody can be president if all we do is to run to IMF every time - Kwesi Pratt fumes
Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has lamented the country’s continuous resort to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) anytime it is confronted with an economic challenge.
Contributing to a discussion on government’s decision to begin a programme with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, on Metro TV’s ‘Good Morning Ghana’ on July 6, Kwesi Pratt suggested that elected officials ought to be blamed for the economic quagmire.
Citing state funds allocated for the construction of the National Cathedral, the veteran journalist worried how and why internally generated revenue was being funneled into such projects instead of investing them in productive ventures.
“We were still debating this National Cathedral thing when I looked through the newspaper and government was borrowing $8 million to invest in agriculture. This is how the debt is accumulated. The money that we ourselves have generated, instead of investing in productive things…things that will get us out of this economic quagmire, we went and put it in the National Cathedral and went to take loans to support agriculture. Why won’t we get here?” Kwesi Pratt quizzed.
He added that he gets very irritated by governments’ decision to seek IMF support in times of challenges.
He challenged managers of the economy to provide evidence of countries that have succeeded economically with the support of the Washington-based institution.
In his view, everybody can become president if it meant seeking IMF support when challenges confront the government.
“I get very very angry when I hear us saying there’s no financial discipline. if you go to the IMF they’ll come instill financial discipline in us, I say ‘my goodness’ where have we arrived after 60 years of independence.
“We elect people who are soo indiscipline that we have to import people from Washington to come and discipline them? Can we believe what we are saying to ourselves? Is that truth palatable that we have elected people, given them our mandate, handed over our sovereignty to them and they are so indisciplined that we have to import people from Washington to come with a cane and discipline them?
“These are things we should not open our mouth to say. It is so embarrassing, so disgraceful. If all we do is that anytime we run into problems, we run to Washington then anybody can be president is this country…then anybody can be Finance Minister in this country,” Kwesi Pratt said.
President Akufo-Addo on July 1 ordered the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to begin formal engagements with the Fund.
The move has since divided public opinion. While some welcomed the decision, others have criticized the government for not remaining committed to its decision not to return to the Fund earlier.
Meanwhile, an IMF team has arrived in the country to begin initial engagement processes. The team is led by Carlo Sdralevich, who is the mission chief for the country.
Mr Sdralevich in statement said: “The IMF stands ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, safeguard debt sustainability, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the IMF team paid a courtesy call on the Vice President yesterday July 6 to official declare their mission in the country to him.