President Akufo-Addo said government is possibly securing a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of the year.
He averred that, the country is likely to arrive at an agreement by December to get the crucial bailout it seeks.
According to him, this will help “repair the short term of public finances and restore our balance of payment whiles we continue to work on the medium to long term structural changes that are at the heart of our goal of constructing a resilient robust Ghanaian economy and building a Ghana Beyond Aid.”
“We are working towards securing a deal with the IMF by the end of the year,” he said on Sunday.
The country is in an economic crisis leaving a dire impact on all sectors.
Ghana is currently at the doors of the Fund seeking support amid intensifying hardship, a rising cost of living and a depreciating cedi.
But in an address to the nation on Sunday, President Akufo-Addo insisted that the government is committed to ensuring that the economy is back on track.
He said, we are aiming to restore and sustain macroeconomic stability within the next three (3) to six (6) years, with a focus on ensuring debt sustainability to promote durable and inclusive growth while protecting the poor.
According to him, government has decided to review the reforms in the energy sector, capping of statutory funds, implementation of the exemptions Act and a new property rate regime.
“We have decided also to continue with the policy of 30% cut in the salaries of political office holders including the President, Vice President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs, and SOE appointees in 2023, just as we will continue with the 30% cut in discretionary expenditures of Ministries, Departments and Agencies. My fellow Ghanaians, the success of our efforts at diversifying the structure of the Ghanaian economy from an import-based one to a value-added exporting one is what will, in the long term, help strengthen our economy. We are making some progress with the 1D1F but our current situation requires that we take some more stringent measures to discourage the importation of goods that we can and do produce here.”
He said, “To this end, we will review the standards required for imports into the country, prioritise the imports, as well as review the management of our foreign exchange reserves, in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles, and others which, with intensified government support and that of the banking sector, can be manufactured and produced in sufficient quantities in Ghana.”
President Akufo-Addo mentioned that government will, in May 2023 review the situation. We must, as a matter of urgent national security, reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance, as demanded by our overarching goal of creating a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“Much as we believe in free trade, we must work to ensure that the majority of goods in our shops and marketplaces are those we produce and grow here in Ghana. That is why we have to support our farmers and domestic industries, including those created under the 1-District-1-Factory initiative, to help reduce our dependence on imports, and allow us the opportunity to export more and more of our products and guarantee a stable currency that will present a high level of predictability for citizens and the business community. Exports, not imports, must be our mantra! Accra, after all, hosts the headquarters of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
“Fellow Ghanaians, as the French would say, l’argent n’aime pas le bruit, to wit, money does not like noise, sika mpɛ dede. Where there is chaos, where there is noise, where there is unrest, you will not find the money. If you talk down your money, it will go down. If you allow some unidentifiable person to talk down your money, it will go down.”
He mentioned that the recent turbulence in the financial markets was caused by low inflows of foreign exchange and was made worse in the last two to three weeks, in particular, by the activities of speculators and the Black Market.
He stressed that some steps have been taken to restore order in the forex markets and we are already beginning to see some calm returning. We will not relent until the order is completely restored, adding that “The following actions have been taken thus far: enhanced supervisory action by the Bank of Ghana in the forex bureau markets and the black market to flush out illegal operators, as well as ensuring that those permitted to operate legally abide by the market rules. Already some forex bureaus have had their licenses revoked, and this exercise will continue until complete order is restored in the sector; Fresh inflows of dollars are providing liquidity to the foreign exchange market, and addressing the pipeline demand; the Bank of Ghana has given its full commitment to the commercial banks to provide liquidity to ensure the wheels of the economy continue to run in a stabilized manner, till the IMF Programme kicks in and the financing assurances expected from other partners also come in; Government is working with the Bank of Ghana and the oil-producing and mining companies to introduce a new legal and regulatory framework to ensure that all foreign exchange earned from operations in Ghana are, initially, paid to banks domiciled in Ghana to help boost the domestic foreign exchange market; and the Bank of Ghana will enhance its gold purchase programme.”