Hon Ahmed Ibrahim
October 28, 2022

First Deputy whip of the Minority in parliament, Ahmed Ibrahim has hinted that the 2023 Economic policy and Budget Statement of government is going to be an austerity budget because the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is going to raise issues about with our debt levels as Ghana is currently before it.

According to him the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta is even not aware of the kind of budget he is going to present because the fiscal space is closed, because debts to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio from the IMF by 2023 is one hundred and four point six (104.6) percent. “So you do not have the fiscal space to manage yourself. What we need to do is that our local economies, we should reconnect them to the production of global food security”.

In an interview in Rwanda Kigali where he attended the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) 145th Assembly it was made clear that the United Nations (UN) does not give money, they would only support countries with technical knowhow.
“If we think UN and IMF would bring something, we are not going to come out of our problems; and the earlier leaders of the country realize that we need to be telling the truth to Ghanaians, the better. At the meeting we were told the people we are leading are tired of long speeches and sweet words, that the people need action, we should walk the talk”.

And for the purpose of agriculture production, countries must domesticate to ensure that they evaluate their agriculture policy and measure them. “Have we been able to assess the planting for food and jobs, Free SHS, one village one dam, one district one factory?”, he queried. The Banda lawmaker pointed out that as a country we are just putting in place political projects which would not give us results, and the IPU meeting in Rwanda charged lawmakers that as they go back to their home countries they should ensure that they evaluate programmes of the Executive arm of government.

“Do you think if planting for food and job was assessed, we would be crying today? No, its political programme not human centered or agriculture programme that is why we are suffering today. These should have been economic boom for us; they started this policy in 2017 five years down the line, which crops would not bear fruits in five years?” And further added that clearly, government has not been fair to the people they are leading in Ghana, and believes the Ghanaian voters is becoming wiser, they are tired of stories and speeches, they need to see action, this is what the IPU is saying.

Again, they are going to be critical on government. There should be evaluation, that is the responsibility of the Ministry for Monitoring and Evaluation. “How could we have such a ministry but they did not evaluate their flagship programme? That is why none of the flagship programmes is being able to be sustained. You cannot sustain your own flagship programme, is it that you did not believe in your own programme?” he asked

The Minister is telling people we should not export food, the bail of agriculture has been lack of market for agriculture products, the market is there, they are now closing the market, “do you think agriculture would be attractive for people to go into? So there should be a bi-partisan approach to measuring all those flagship programmes; those that are viable let us pursue them, those not viable let us do away with them”, he advised.

“It is the only way we can make head way, the year 2023 is going to be a difficult year, no one is going to bring you food in your country to eat, you have to grow what you eat and eat what you grow.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com/Rwanda/Kigali