An Assessment Team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will arrive in Accra this week to begin an assessment of Ghana's macro-fiscal data to recommend an appropriate programme for the country.
This follows government's announcement on Friday, July 1, 2022, that it had decided to engage the Fund on balance of payment support because of the global economic meltdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Those crises have resulted in high inflation, fuel price hikes, depreciation of the local currency and eroded the country's foreign reserves and buffers.
Speaking on the cost of living crises and government's decision to engage the IMF on a television station Sunday night, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the Government's decision to engage the Fund was to increase Ghana's foreign reserves, get liquidity to deal with the external debt servicing obligations and for the balance of payment support.
He said the Taskforce that would engage the Fund during the negotiations would be chaired by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and hoped to secure about two billion dollars from the Fund to shore up reserves and build buffers to mitigate the plight of Ghanaians.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said there was one billion dollars from the international capital market ready for the country to access but it would require parliamentary approval.
The Minister said an IMF support alone would not be sufficient to deal with the current economic challenges and that there was a need for domestic resource mobilization and an increase in production by industries to reduce the importation of goods.
"There is no single bullet to deal with the economic challenges.
"The impact of the global crises is so severe that some of the domestic measures introduced by the government though had worked, were unable to stop the impact on Ghanaians," Mr Oppong Nkrumah noted.
He conceded that government's decision to seek IMF support had not been an easy one but government took that bold step in the best interest of the public for the economy to bounce back quickly from the global economic difficulties, saying: "Tough times call for tough decisions."
Asked whether the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration had been vindicated on its decision to seek IMF bailout in 2015, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the situation that prevailed at that time was different and explained that: "They (NDC) said the meat had been chewed and left with the bones but Moody's assessment of the Ghanaian economy at the time noted mismanagement of the economy."
" Our situation is completely different because we're in global crises and Ghana is not an exception. We need to deal with the crises holistically and so we need to engage industries to grow and produce more and take pragmatic steps to mobilise sufficient resources from the Property Rate and other domestic resources and plug the loopholes in the e-levy transaction," Mr Oppong Nkrumah stated.