Coronavirus: How the pandemic is impacting negatively on the Ghanaian economy, Finance Minister updates

Ghana’s Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that the preliminary analysis by the Ministry which has proven that the Coronavirus pandemic would impact negatively on the country’s petroleum receipts due to the collapse of international oil prices.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

According to him, the disease was likely to impact adversely on the nation’s custom and other receipts, increase expenditures on health as well as financing conditions on the fiscal front.

“More generally, it is affecting tourism, travel and conferences, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), international trade, food and nutrition, and poverty reduction”.

Mr Ofori-Atta said this when he presented a statement in Parliament to update the House on the fiscal implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures being taken to pay depositors who had funds with the defunct Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Savings and Loans Companies (SLCs).

He announced that the government was putting in place measures to close a possible financing gap in the 2020 Budget that could result from the impact of the coronavirus.

Adding that the measures may include withdrawal from the Ghana Stabilization Fund occasioned by anticipated shortfalls in the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), adding: “We will come to this august House to seek for the necessary approvals in due course”.

The Finance Minister further said the government, currently, is in discussion with the World Bank to tap into a US$12 billion World Bank Group fast track COVID-19 facility to help close the financing gap.

Additionally, the government is discussing with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to access part of a $10 billion facility made available by the IMF to address Corona through the Rapid Credit Facility.

He noted the country was also discussing with other multilateral and bilateral partners on potential assistance to close the financing gap.

”But, Mr Speaker, even in the difficult global circumstances, Ghana is blessed,” he said.

Adding that in line with the President’s directive, an amount of about five billion Ghana cedis was released in a combination of cash and a five-year amortized zero-coupon bond to the Receivers’ Paying-agent, the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), to enable it to settle the remaining outstanding claims.

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