THE government has been urged to be transparent in its dealings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by making all conditions required by the fund public for the people to buy into the deal.
According to a civil society organisation, Think Progress Ghana, the need to come clear on the conditions by the fund had become critical in order that the government would not consider implementing policies such as the domestic debt exchange programme (DDEP).
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the organisation, Alex Annan Abakah, demanded a full disclosure and transparency in the negotiations by the government and the IMF so far.
“Citizens deserve to know what led us into this economic crisis.
The government must be truthful and tell us how we got here,” he added.
According to him, the inability of the nation to honour its debt obligations was not caused by external factors alone, but was also due to excessive borrowing and mismanagement of resources.
“It is unfortunate the government has announced that it is going to include individual bondholders in the domestic exchange programme.
“The financial impact of this decision on the people will be too much to bear,” he said.
Mr Abakah urged the government to deepen consultations with all stakeholders on the debt restructuring programme.
He said punishing individual bondholders, especially pensioners who survived on the interest of their investments, “while government officials continue to live lavish lifestyles from taxpayers’ money is not the best way to deal with the economic crisis”.
“We can also make a lot of savings from eliminating wasteful government expenditure by reducing the size of the government, fighting corruption and retrieving stolen public funds from corrupt officials,” Mr Abakah said.
He further urged the government to prioritise key projects and not to continue investing on initiatives he claimed did not bring significant development in the country.
On the Representation of the People’s (Amendment) Law (ROPAL), Mr Abakah called on the government to suspend any plans of implementing the programme since it would put more financial burden on the nation.
Instead, he said, the government should focus on addressing electoral challenges to ensure free and fair elections in 2024.
The law, which is yet to be implemented, allows Ghanaians living abroad to participate in the electoral process in the country.