President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed optimism that the country will conclude an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the close of this month in view of the cooperation being received from the Paris Club and China over debt relief.
He said a delegation from the China EXIM Bank was in Accra at the weekend to meet with officials of the Ministry of Finance, adding “we shall be able to go to the board of the fund to conclude a final agreement by the end of March”.
According to the President, the agreement would set the stage for a strong recovery of the economy.
Addressing the diplomatic corps at a Presidential retreat at the Peduase Lodge on the Aburi Hills in the Eastern Region last Monday night, the President said his confidence was strengthened by the fact that “we managed to get the staff level agreement in record time in December last year, whose terms we are systematically fulfilling, including the difficult but ultimately highly successful process of the domestic debt exchange programme”.
The annual event, which was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, offered the diplomatic community and the leaders of accredited representatives of international organisations the opportunity to exchange pleasantries, interact with each other and firm up existing bonds of friendship and cooperation with the country.
The President also expressed the hope that the challenges facing Nigeria after its general election will be resolved peacefully in accordance with due process to allow the will of the people to prevail.
That, he explained, was necessary because events in Nigeria impacted democracy in West Africa and the continent of Africa.
President Akufo-Addo extended solidarity of the people and the nation to the “brotherly people of our great neighbour. We wish them the best of luck and God’s blessings”.
At a joint press conference in Abuja, some Nigeria opposition parties called for fresh elections, describing results currently being announced by their electoral body as “heavily doctored and manipulated”.
The parties that comprised the People’s Democratic Party, the Labour Party, and the African Democratic Congress, advocated a new chairman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The parties said they would no longer be part of the ongoing collation process because they had lost confidence in the electoral body Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
President Akufo-Addo further mentioned how the Russia-Ukraine war had interrupted the studies of some 460 Ghanaian students in Ukraine, and thanked neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic who hosted the students in the initial stages of the war.
He said in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 253 of the students were evacuated from Ukraine for repatriation, while the government also helped with the integration and placement of 100 students into the nation’s public universities.
President Akufo-Addo also said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in collaboration with the Consulate General in Dubai, extended consular assistance to stranded Ghanaians in detention centres.
He added that some 431 Ghanaians, made up of 341 males, 88 females and two children below the ages of three, including some African migrants were also evacuated from a medical centre.
The President further said that the government, together with the IOM, continued to repatriate voluntary migrants from Libya and that last year, 754 of them were brought home aboard five chartered flights. The exercise is expected to continue this year.
Source: Graphic Online