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IMF deal won’t work without citizen’s support – Prof Lord Mensah

Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana (UG), Professor Lord Mensah has advised the government to get the buy in of individual bondholders for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

He further warned that the country’s IMF deal could be in jeopardy should the Debt Exchange Program fail.

Mr. Mensah also stated that the investor community is shocked about the entire debt restructuring because of the interest levels the government is proposing.

He added that the investor community have not seen or experienced the kind of interest level the government is suggesting to them for the Ghanaian economy.

“In the first announcement that the Finance Minister made he mentioned the Jamaican experience. They (Jamaicans) also made attempts like this and they didn’t get the buy in of the people,” Mr. Mensah explained.

He continued: “Trust me, the exercise that is ongoing if you did not get the buy in of the citizen it will never work. I am even looking at an IMF program not going through because your citizens did not support your debt exchange. Because you need the citizens to rebuild your economy. If they back out and did not support your debt exchange, whatever objective that this entire exercise is standing for will never be achieved.”

The Associate Professor also added that investment culture in the country could be greatly dented should the government fail to analyze its approach in the domestic debt exchange.

“They should cut down their own expenditure, the expenditure line. The discretionary expenditures and all those that they can easily do away with which can make up for some of the possible losses they are going to make if they should absolve passion and other individual bond from the entire exercise.”

Prof. Mensah said the government should not cosmetically bring back the economy which will turn out to be unsustainable.

“So I will say that the entire exercise should be probed and revisit the structure, adapt the bottom up approach. Get to know those who own various bond holdings and the interest level is new to our economy, revisit it and Ghanaians will buy into it.”

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