The former Methodist Bishop of Obuasi, Rt Rev. Bosomtwe Ayensu, has called on Ghanaians to take responsibility for the state of the country and not solely rely on the government to fix things. In an interview with Accra-based Rainbow Radio on April 17, 2023, he urged citizens to meet political leadership halfway and not just demand from them.
Speaking specifically about the economy, he defended the government’s decision to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying that they had no choice. He also pointed out that Ghanaians tend to be averse to paying taxes and are not truthful or patriotic enough.
“People keep complaining about the taxes we pay, but we must take responsibility for our actions as well. We must be truthful and patriotic, and we must help each other,” he said.
He added that Ghanaians should not only blame the government for the current situation, but also take responsibility for their contributions to the mess the country is in. “What are we doing to help the country develop?” he asked.
Regarding the government’s return to the IMF, he explained that it was not a deliberate decision. While the government had previously said they would not go back to the IMF, circumstances had forced their hand. He also promised to speak out if he saw any deliberate wrongdoing.
The government has blamed the COVID pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war for the country’s economic challenges. To secure an IMF bailout, the government has passed three new taxes: the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022, the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill 2022, and the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2022. These bills are expected to raise about 4 billion Ghana Cedis annually in domestic revenue mobilisation and are crucial to securing Board Approval for the US$3 billion IMF Programme, which was agreed to at a staff-level meeting last year.