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IMF forced prog. extension on us – Kwarteng

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Deputy Finance Minister Kweku Kwarteng has said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forced on Ghana, the one-year extension of the $918 million three-year Credit Facility programme which the two parties signed to during the Mahama administration.

According to Mr Kwarteng, there was nothing the government of Ghana could do to fight the extension since the Bretton Wood institution said the programme had under-performed it necessarily must be extended.

“The IMF has been around for two years and they, the IMF, are now telling us that the programme has so under-performed, and, so, we should now extend it,” Mr Kwarteng told Bernard Avle on Accra-based Citi FM on Monday, 11 September.

“We didn’t think we needed that,” he pointed, adding that the government made that clear to the IMF. “What we didn’t anticipate was the response we subsequently got from the IMF”, which he said was that: “If we do not extend, then there is no way we were going to achieve the objectives of the programme, so they will end the programme today.”

The extension came a few weeks after President Akufo-Addo made it clear that his government was not going to extend the programme which his party criticised while in opposition.

Mr Kwarteng, however, said the government gave in to the extension because “we didn’t want to hurt Ghana’s credible image”.

“I, for instance, thought that from what we had told them that we did not want to come out of the programme as though there is a new government and government had abandoned the programme, it will send a wrong signal to the market and it will hurt our image as a credible country so we said we were not going to do that.”

“That was in plain language that the IMF was telling us that if you do not extend beyond first quarter of 2018, then we think that we are not even going for the review,” Mr Kwarteng explained.


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