The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says Ghana’s programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is responsible for the worsening living condition of Ghanaian workers.
TUC Secretary-General, Kofi Asamoah, says the only way to improve the economic wellbeing of Ghanaians is for the government to abandon the IMF programme and invest in a “homegrown programme.”
“Mr President, the economy is still weak and has had a negative effect on living standards across all socio-economic groups in the country. A very significant number of our compatriots are suffering extreme levels of poverty and destitution and we want something to be done,” he said.
The TUC leader disclosed this when he addressed a gathering of workers in the Ashanti Region, Wednesday.
With barely a year left for Ghana to pull through the IMF extended credit facility programme, the government has come under intense pressure to abandon the programme.
Sections of Ghanaians have raised issues such as the freeze on public sector employment which they argue has exploded the unemployment rate in the country as well as the skyrocketing of commodities prices in the country as some consequences of the IMF programme.
The IMF has delayed disbursement of the third tranche of $116million, attributing this to some unfavourable conditions persisting in the country. They say government’s failure to meet fiscal discipline requirement as captured in the programme is to blame.
The Fund demanded a Financial Management Bill be passed and this has been done, therefore, Government is expected to meet a delegation from the Fund to consider the progress of the nation regarding the programme followed by an onward release of the third allocation.
Also joining the bandwagon is the Presidential Candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, who says those who voted for President Mahama technically encouraged him to take the country to the IMF.
He says, “All the people who voted for John Dramani Mahama…wasted their vote and the vote that they have wasted…has sent us to the IMF because John Mahama says he cannot manage our economy. So he has taken our economy and handed it over to the IMF and they are telling him what to do [which] are not in our interest.”
He called on Ghanaians to jilt the President in the upcoming election and give him the mandate to return the country to the path of prosperity.
The TUC believes Ghanaians are suffering because of the way the IMF programme is structured.
It has urged the President to end the programme, but President Mahama, who also addressed the gathering, said the programme would be the last for the country.
“I want to reiterate my earlier statement that this is our ultimate IMF programme. This is the IMF programme to end all IMF programme and then we will go back to the homegrown policy,” he told them.