A renowned economist Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia has urged the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to announce plans for the rationalization of the civil service which is expected to take place in 2017.
According to him, putting this information in the public domain should not be too hard if government has nothing to hide.
Dr Bawumia told journalists in Accra: “We are therefore asking that the plan for the rationalization of the civil service be made public by both the government and the IMF in the spirit of transparency and accountability.
They should put it out in the public domain so that everybody will know what they have committed to”.
“Government has committed under the IMF programme to lay off workers but they will not admit it if you ask them.
“The fact, however, is that one of the conditionalities of the IMF programme is a commitment by this government to rationalize the size of the Civil Service”, he added.
He stated that paragraph 65 of Ghana’s Extended Credit Agreement with the IMF, stipulates that government with the assistance of development partners undertakes a comprehensive plan to rationalize the size and increase the efficiency of the civil and allied services on the payroll.
“The related strategic plan will be ready in December 2015, the result of which will inform the actual rationalization of staff which is expected to begin in 2017”, the statement added.
Dr Bawumia, a former deputy governor at the Bank of Ghana wondered why the implementation of the programme would be delayed until 2017 when it is supposed to help the struggling economy.
The only reason government is not being transparent on this issue, is because it does not want workers to know the truth about what they have agreed to do before the election, he stated.
It would be recalled that the Ghanaian government went to the IMF in 2014 for a possible bailout as a result of high inflation rate, depreciation of the cedi, and huge wage bill among several other challenges confronting the economy.
In February 2015 government concluded most of the outstanding issues concerning the negotiations with the IMF and the fund agreed to release $918 million to Ghana under a three-year bailout programme.
After some review of government’s performance, the IMF has already released the first and second tranches to Ghana.