Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Professor Godfred A. Bokpin has slammed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta for the poor handling of the IMF Program so far.
Pensioner Bondholders Forum, a group for the protection of pensioners with investment in government bonds on Monday began picketing at the premises of the Finance Ministry with a call to have them exempted from the Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP).
According to the group, attempts to have their investment exempted from the programme have proved futile, the reason for the picketing at the Finance Ministry until their demands are met.
However, commenting on the DDEP on the Morning Starr with Francis Abban, Mr. Bokpin stated that the projection towards the end of 2022 was that the government was going to adopt a consensus approach in this debt restructuring.
“Combined with the considerable fiscal adjustment we would have resolved this by now and probably have an IMF program by now. Without an external anchor you will see stability. We have also seen some stability at the global level.
“So in terms of imported inflation and all of that you will see that in moderation. There are those who think that inflation has not seen its worst. So perhaps in terms of elevated prices to the end of the first quarters yes we should not be surprised. But it depends on how fast we are able to do some of these things and particularly get an IMF program,” Mr. Bokpin explained.
The Finance Expert indicated that there were some good economic signals on 1ST July 2022 when Ghana made the call to Washington for the IMF support program.
“On the secondary and Eurobond market the spread on how much our bonds were trading in excess of dollars actually narrowed. That is the kind of credibility the IMF program brings immediately. You could also see when the Staff Level Agreement was announced you could see what happened to the cedi right after tha because that uncertainty has been resolved.
“So a lot depends on how quickly we are able to build consensus with everybody. But the approach the Minister of Finance has adopted in itself creates a whole lot of disaffection in seeking for the IMF program. Therefore it may affect the implementation and acceptability of the IMF program at the end of the day. It is also about strategy and I think it has been done poorly.”