Coronavirus: Finance Minister submits document on impact of potential lockdown

Ken Ofori Atta Finance Minister
Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has submitted a document to President Akufo-Addo detailing the economic implications in the event of a potential nationwide lockdown.


This follows a directive to the Finance Ministry to assess the impact of a possible lockdown on the country’s economy.

According to Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, this
activity will inform President’s decision whether to declare a lockdown or

So far, the country has recorded 132 COVID-19 cases with three deaths.

A cross-section of Ghanaians including experts have made
calls to President Akufo-Addo to enforce a lockdown as part of measures to
contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A senior research fellow at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of
Medical Research, Dr Kofi Boni on March 21 advised a “gradual lockdown” which
must be executed in a way that allows professions that offer very essential
services to operate while all other sectors are gradually withdrawn.

But the Ghana Medical Association, while calling for same, wanted it rolled out with immediate effect.

On the back of this, the Finance Minister was directed to assess the possible impact of a lockdown on the economy to inform government’s decisions going forward.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah disclosed to JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson that the document has given government clarity on the cost to the nation if the protocol is implemented.

“That document has been around for some time. It keeps being
recalibrated depending on the numbers and scenarios that come up. But we have
clarity of what it may cost us in terms of growth and revenue etc,” he said.

Mr Nkrumah was also concerned about the implications of some
of the proposed interventions on some sections of the population and the economy.

As part of measure to mitigate these issues, he explained that “as of
Wednesday, the Minister of Finance and the Economic Management team had
the opportunity to deliberate on those numbers.

“Most likely by Friday, he may have to come to parliament to
explain if indeed government has decided to introduce some more economic
measures beyond what has been done and what it means for the fiscal position
for growth and everything else,” the Information Minister added.