Overspending in 2024 election year could derail IMF gains – Dr. Gyeke-Darko warns of indiscipline

The upcoming election year (2024) could pose a threat to the prudent measures government is putting in place to revamp the economy, that is a warning from Economist and Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Dr. Agyapomaa Gyeke-Darko.

With the exception of 2004, Ghana has always recorded budget overruns in election years under the Fourth Republic due to government’s penchant for engaging in spending beyond the fiscal targets.

Expressing some worry, Dr. Gyeke-Darko feared that the gains that would be made in the ongoing process to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme could be derailed if government repeats the history of fiscal indiscipline exhibited during election years.

Dr. Gyeke-Darko was speaking on the maiden edition of the 2023 Joy Business Thought Leadership Series.

She acknowledged that even though in 2004, the country did not record a budget overrun, subsequent election years have shown worrying trends that depict a bad pattern that could be replayed in 2024.

“Apart from the 2004 election year, government did average of around 8.1 percent, so I don’t see that anything is going to be different next year because if you track the data, you would see that every election year, we over spend, it’s a threat to all the actions government is taking with regards to our fiscals”, she said.

Providing some advice, Dr. Gyake-Darko joined calls for government to properly and practically adopt the principle of burden-sharing.

This, she said will encourage Ghanaians to cooperate with the government on its fiscal policies and austerity measures as well as send a positive signal to the investor community.

“We need to see clear commitment from the part of government. I thought that when some ministers resigned the government was going to use the opportunity to downsize the number of ministers we have, People say it won’t make any difference but this will send good signals to our investor community”, she stressed.

The Joy Business Thought Leaders Series, was on the topic “Debt exchange and IMF, do or die affair?

Other speakers who featured on the programme were Director of ISSER, Prof. Peter Quartey, CEO of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Mark Badu-Aboagye, Convener of the Ghana Individual Bondholders Forum, Senyo Hosi, Former Finance Minister, Seth Tekper and Financial and Investment Consultant, David Tetteh.

SourceBeverly Broohm

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