Finance Minister outlines plans to stabilize cedi

Government will use a number of fiscal policies and practical economic measures to stabilize the cedi, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has assured.

According to him, government will increase agriculture output to correct the imbalances between export and imports of agriculture produce to make Ghana a net exporter of food.

Outlining some measures penciled to stabilize the local currency, Mr. Ofori Atta maintained that government also intends to reduce the importation crude oil as the Sankofa Gas project comes on board to reduce the purchase of crude oil with the amount of forex available.

“The cedi’s instability, there are a number of things that we have to do and that’s where the one factory one district comes into the fore. We are now looking to see whether we can generate export and therefore diversify the economy,” he said.

He cited for example that government will heavily invest in the agriculture sector to help boost agro produce for export.

He bemoaned the habit where only the cocoa subsector was given the needed attention to the neglect of others.

“I think our interest in the agric sector also looks to address this mono-crop of cocoa. Is that all we should be doing,” he said, adding that all the subsectors are potentially viable in increasing the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

Touching on remittances, Mr. Ofori Atta stated that there are plans to correct how foreign currencies remitted into the country get stuck before it is changed into the local currency.

“Even the issue of remittances and how in some instances, the dollars actually do not get here but we get cedis.We are going to look  at it,” he said.

He added that government will also streamline some of the current engagement with the Precious Minerals to improve foreign exchange earnings.

“Fortunately we are confidence that oil receipts will also increase.  So we are helpful. In the medium term is the balance between gas and crude where gas will increase considerably and that will reduce the need for crude import,” he said explaining that all these measures will increase foreign currencies in the country”.

B:Vivian Kai Lokko/Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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