Embargo on public sector employment should not be lifted after IMF exit; Economist advises

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Dr Ebo Turkson

Economist and Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Ebo Turkson has advised Government not to lift the embargo on public sector employment after exiting the International Monetary Fund, IMF, in April this year.

According to Dr Ebo Turkson, lifting the ban on employment will inflate the wage bill and make Ghana go back for a bailout from the IMF again.

During the John Mahama led administration when the country went to the IMF for a bailout, an embargo was placed on public sector employment as most revenue generated was used to pay workers.

Read also: Final Disbursement: IMF approves $185.2m for Ghana 

Most people have also attributed the rise in unemployment in the country to the embargo especially in the education and health sector.

But speaking to Citi FM, Dr Ebo Turkson said government should rather focus on creating the enabling environment for the private sector to employ people rather than lifting the ban.

"Ones they leave we shouldn't lift the ban on public sector employment because when we do that we inflate the wage bill and that is one of the areas that cause us to run huge fiscal deficit, it's very important that we make ..................we rather provide a conducive environment for private sector to thrive for private sector to generate employment."

Final IMF disbursement to Ghana

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has on March 20 approved the final disbursement of about US$185.2 million to Ghana.

According to the IMF, its Executive Board completed the seventh and eight reviews On March 20, 2019, under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) supported arrangement.

Read also: IMF board sets March ending for Ghana’s final program review, before exit

The fund pointed out that Considering Ghana’s resolved to tackle difficult reforms, the Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver of the nonobservance of a few program targets.

Ghana is scheduled to complete an IMF programme with the fund in April 2019.

Ghana’s three-year arrangement was approved on April 3, 2015, for about US$925.9 million or 180 per cent of quota at the time of approval of the arrangement. Ghana News