Fiscal indiscipline bane of West African states – Finance Ministry
The Ministry of Finance has identified low revenue inflows and lack of fiscal discipline among governments as the main challenges facing countries in the sub-region.
A Deputy Minister at the ministry, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, made the observation at the opening ceremony of a three-day regional workshop on fiscal reporting and transparency in Accra.
“A lack of transparency in fiscal reporting remains a major challenge to Anglophone West Africa. We cannot hide from the fact that as a region we have a long way to go before we can claim to have best practices on public financial management (PFM) systems in place,” Mr Forson said.
The MoFEP is the initiative of the Japanese government under its Japanese Standards Association (JSA) with technical support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Participants are drawn from six countries in the sub region, including Ghana, and will be taken through a number of topics such as coverage of fiscal operations, improving the timeliness and regularity of fiscal reporting, budget accounting, chart of accounts and government financial statistics among others.
With specific reference to Ghana, Mr Forson, who is also the NDC Member of Parliament for the Ajumako-Enya-Essiam Constituency, said although much progress had been made in the management of Ghana’s economy, low revenue inflows still remained a challenge.
“Our remaining challenges relate to further revenue mobilisation and improving spending efficiency to create adequate room for critical infrastructure investments,” he said.
Having realised these, the deputy minister said the 2013 budget, which is being implemented, was designed to address such challenges.
He thus urged member West African countries and their respective governments to implement measures that will help insulate their economies from the identified challenges.
The IMF Resident Representative to the country, Mr Samir Jahjah, agreed with Mr Forson but noted that the workshop, which runs from September 23-25, will help address such challenges.
By Maxwell Adombila Akalaare/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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