Politics

From E-Levy to IMF: ABA Fuseini jabs Akufo-Addo for ‘spectacularly’ mismanaging the economy

The Member of Parliament for Sagnarigu, Alhassan Bashir Alhassan Fuseini has asked the Akufo-Addo government to apologise to Ghanaians for what he described as catastrophic management of the economy.

The legislator’s comment was a reaction to the government’s decision to engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic programme despite the introduction of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) which the government touted as the remedy to the woes of the country amidst a resolve to not go to IMF.

In an interview with TV3, the lawmaker said as trumpeted by his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the economy has been in shambles due to the incompetence of the Akufo-Addo government.

“We said it; it was a matter of time… We have said that the Nana Akufo-Addo, Bawumia government have so spectacularly mismanaged the economy to the point that we have hit the lowest of the low. The E-Levy they were counting on, we indicated to them that it’s a very regressive tax for an already overburdened population…,” he said.

“Look at how they have bastardised the IMF. You’ve said all these things, organized a kenkey party, said you had all the economic management gurus to take the country forward and today, we are back. The fact that we’re back to the IMF speaks volumes of the catastrophic mismanagement of the economy… It tells us that, frankly speaking, they have taken Ghanaians for a ride. They should just eat humble pie and apologise to the good people of this country… After imposing the E-Levy, they’re now going to IMF,” ABA Fuseini added.

The country’s economic situation has experienced severe challenges and calls for Ghana to turn to the IMF heightened. Ofori-Atta, however, on countless occasions, without equivocation, said the government will find other ways of handling the economy, insisting that IMF was not an option. He mentioned that some interventions and policies have been put in place by his government to rescue the economy.

On July 1, 2022, however, the president directed his appointee to commence talks with the IMF. A statement issued by the Information Ministry said “This follows a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgievs, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund.”

“The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia Ukraine crises,” the statement added.

E-Levy revenue target not realised

Ealier, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) disclosed that despite the huge expectations that birthed the idea of imposing a 1.5% levy on electronic transfers above GH¢100, the government has been able to realise only 10% of its expected revenue from the controversial E-Levy.

“After 5 months of stalemate and bashing, the e-levy, after implementation, is delivering only 10% of estimated revenues; our revenues remain very low as compared to the rest of the world; debt levels dangerously high, cedi, like most currencies, struggling against the US dollar,” he said.

“What options are open to government? The question should rather be: what option, if adopted, will re-inject investor confidence in our economy? Even if we find the $3-5 billion required, will that help? E-levy which was to have given us some 600m by now has done less than 60m,” Gabby added.

His tweets gave an indication that the government was considering going to IMF although the finance minister had said at various functions that it was not an option.

Gabby in his rants said IMF conditions were not favourable but he is not against the programme.

“I am not for an IMF program that throws peanuts at us but imposes conditions that will end up hurting the poor, jobs and businesses more. Covid-19 and War in Ukraine are not of Africa’s doing but more to our doom. A program that pretends it is all our doing is doomed to fail,” Gabby wrote.

“Am I against an IMF program in principle? No,” he added.

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