Business News of Sunday, 22 January 2017
Finance Minister-designate, Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta has hinted that a team from the International Monetary Fund is expected to visit the country in the first week of next month to begin discussions on the possible review of the ongoing programme with Ghana.
This according to the Mr. Ofori – Atta has become necessary because IMF itself has given indication that it will open discussions for a renegotiating of aspects of the deal as some benchmarks have been missed in the 3-year External Credit Facility (ECF) with the government of Ghana.
The government of ghana according to data available has not been able to keep a 5.2percent fiscal deficit target as set by the fund. The country’s current deficit is hovering around 8 to 9 percent.
“It is time to look at it again and assess where we want to go. The first visit is in February, we will be firm on what has to be done on fiscal stability.” Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta told a parliamentary committee vetting his appointment as finance minister.
The government of Ghana in 2015 signed a 918 million-dollar extended credit facility program with the IMF which was aims to restore debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability all to foster a return to high growth and job creation while protecting social spending.
Even though the deal according to the legislature did not receive their approval, has seen Ghana so far receive about US$464.6 million as disbursements from the IMF.
The Fund expects the overall fiscal deficit, on a cash basis, to be some 2 to 3 percentage points higher than the 5.2 percent of GDP that it projected in September, “owing to a weak revenue performance and higher than planned capital spending.”
Prior to the December 7 elections, the IMF had insisted the programme, which it described then as “broadly satisfactory,” would not be affected should there be a change of government.
The three-year programme, signed by the previous government in April 2015, imposes strict targets for revenue collection and spending. It aims to reduce inflation, the public debt and the budget deficit and restore rapid growth to Ghana’s economy.
President Nana Akufo-Addo won December’s election in part by promising voters he would give $1 million to each constituency per year for development, build a dam in every village and a factory in every district.