COVID-19: Be diligent in spending IMF’s $1bn loan – Mahama advises government

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has advised the Akufo-Addo government to be diligent in applying the US$1 billion loan facility the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved for Ghana under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).

The Executive Board of IMF announced the approval of the loan on Monday, April 13, 2020.

The money is to help Ghana address the “fiscal and balance of payments needs” and also help the country to improve confidence in its economy especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is already impacting Ghana severely. Growth is slowing down, financial conditions have tightened, and the exchange rate is under pressure. This has resulted in large government and external financing needs. The authorities have timely and proactively responded to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana and support affected households and firms,” the IMF noted in a statement.

The IMF in the statement said it was still monitoring Ghana’s situation and is ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed.

IMF’s $1 billion money timely

John Mahama in a Facebook stream to announce his donation of food items to 20,000 households in the country said the IMF’s facility is timely.

He, however, urged the government to be prudent in expending the loan.

“The fast track approval by the IMF of the highly concessional Rapid Credit Facility is therefore timely and very welcome. This will help cushion the economy from the dangers of recession. Our economy has revealed from this COVID-19 stress test that it is still fragile and we need to be prudent in how we manage going forward. We must also be diligent in how we apply the US$1 billion facility as the various tranches are released.”

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