The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has warned that it will not tolerate any International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionality that negatively affects the existing agreements between it and government to improve the Conditions of Service of members.
A statement signed and issued yesterday by National President and National Secretary of UTAG, Pro. Solomon Nunooand DrAsare Asante-Annor respectively, asked the government to ensure that the conditions subsequent to the support would not disadvantage the Conditions of Service of Labour Unions.
Given its potential negative impact on UTAG members, and by extension public sector workers, and its repercussion on the operations of public universities, it said, UTAG would have preferred the use of homegrown solutions to the country’s economic woes.
“This is premised on our recent unpleasant history of previous engagements with IMF. We, thus, feel uneasy with the government’s decision,” it noted
UTAG said it was time “to comprehensively diagnose the root causes of the recurrent economic problems” that always lead the country to the IMF and proffer solutions that could permanently address the problems.
“For inclusive and sustainable development in our country, UTAG believes we need homegrown policies developed by home-based experts and implemented by home-based practitioners,” it stated.
The statement called on the government to take advantage of the opportunity of seeking IMF support this time round, to make use of local experts to support the development of a comprehensive programme that would form the basis of all engagements with the IMF.
“UTAG is, by this statement, ready to provide technical backstopping support services to the government to analyse the policy options and develop the programme for effective and efficient engagement with the IMF,” it added.
The group said it was concerned that between 1966 and 2015, Ghana had been to the IMF 16 times to seek support to address the country’s economic problems.
Within the fourth Republic and over the last 30 years, the statement explained that the current seek for support would be the sixth (6th) time the country was going to the IMF for support.
The statement said resorting to the IMF all the time was not a sustainable way of dealing with Ghana’s economic problems.
The statement followed President Nana Akufo-Addo’s directive to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the IMF to help deal with current challenges.