Politics

Ofori-Atta will be shown anti-IMF comments during negotiations – Former NPP MP

Former Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Mark Assibey-Yeboah, has stated that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta will be shown comments he made against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during negotiations for a rescue programme.

Although he did not explicitly mention its consequences on the process, the one-time chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee suggested that it may have a dire impact.

In an interview with Accra-based Citi TV, the former MP explained that IMF has representatives who are dedicated to countries and spend time scavenging for news about the organization from the country of designation.

He detailed that it was for this reason that former President John Mahama made Dr. Kwesi Botchwey lead the IMF negotiations in 2015 after then Finance Minister Seth Terkper had opposed the move.

“In 2015, my friend Seth Terkper didn’t want the Fund programme and so the President forced it on him just like the same arrangement. So when we were going for the Fund negotiations, President Mahama nominated Dr. Kwesi Botchwey to lead the negotiations.

“Because if you put out statements…the Fund…every morning there’s somebody sitting at Washington who is in charge of Ghana. He just types ‘Ghana IMF’ so anywhere that IMF has been mentioned in Ghana the previous day, it will pop up. Yes, [they have screenshots]. And there’s one doing it for Nigeria. So every morning they get whatever has been said about the IMF in Ghana,” Dr. Assibey-Yeboah said.

Asked if Ken Ofori-Atta will be shown screenshots of his anti-IMF comments, the former MP responded saying “I will think so.”

He further advised that government appointees should be mindful of the utterances they make as it had the potential of coming back to haunt them in the future.

“The president says he is going to lead negotiations so it means the president is leading negotiations here but if he [Ken Ofori-Atta] should go to Washington…that’s why I’m saying let us watch our language in some of these things,” he added.

Ken Ofori-Atta insisted amid the push for E-levy that the government was not going to go to the IMF for a bailout.

“I can say; we are not going to the IMF. Whatever we do, we are not. Consequences are dire, we are a proud nation, we have the resources, we have the capacity.

“We are not people of short-sight, but we have to move on. So let’s think of who we are as strong proud people, the shining star of Africa, and we have the capacity to do whatever we want to do if we speak one language and ensure that we share the burden in the issues ahead,” he said during a town hall meeting in the Northern region in February

However, on July 1, President Akufo-Addo ordered the minister to begin formal engagements with the Fund for a possible rescue programme.

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