March 18, 2023

For months, the current government of Ghana fought hard to approve and implement a 1.5% levy on electronic transactions.

Among several arguments, the government said the E-Levy is a direct and appropriate substitute for a possible bailout from the International Monetary Fund in the face of growing economic challenges.

New Juaben South Member of Parliament, Michael Okeyere Baafi, in one of such defence for the government’s decision, said any possible deal with the IMF will only see the Bretton Wood institution coming to the table with their “small boys” instead of experts.

Read the full story as published by GhanaWeb on March 11, 2022, below

Falling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout means that we cannot manage our own economy and that they should come to our rescue, Michael Okyere Baafi, Member of Parliament for New Juaben South has asserted.

Making a case for Ghanaians and the Minority in Parliament to accept the Electronic Transaction Levy Policy, the lawmaker said it would be a bad step for the Ghana government to go to the IMF for a bailout to improve the wobbling economy.

In a chat with some media personnel in Koforidua, Michael Okyere Baafi indicated that even when Ghana falls on the IMF, the Breton Wood institution would not even bring experts to meet the Ghanaian contingent but will rather make “small boys” to meet Ghana’s high-level economists.

“Immediately you say you are going for a bailout, immediately you take that decision, do you know the people they are going to bring? They won’t bring their experts.

“Deputy Finance Minister was telling me some time ago, he said all the IMF meetings they have had – high-level meetings – small small boys will come and take decisions. Small small boys will come and tell you hey Ghana do this.

“When they come and you tell them that you cannot manage your economy well so they should come and give you a bailout, they will say, ‘okay we can give you first tranche 1b dollars to stabilise your economy. But the 1b we are giving you there are a lot of things that you don’t need in this country that you are doing unnecessarily.

“So they will tell you that the first thing that you have to do is to cut your coat according to your size,” he expressed.

The New Juaben MP reiterated that one of the key conditions the IMF “small boys” would direct would be for the government to cancel the Free Senior High School which is only a political decision and not an entrenched constitutional policy.

He added that the IMF conditionality would also compel the government to cancel the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) and as well downsizing employment in all the public sectors.

“Why should we go to IMF, take loans, and suffer this much?” he asked.

Michael Okyere Baafi, therefore, urged Ghanaians to see the E-Levy Policy as a homegrown policy that will make Ghana manage its own affairs without falling on foreign aid which comes with uncomfortable conditionality.

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