Coronavirus outbreak to cost Ghana GHC9.5 billion according to Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has revealed that the country’s economy will lose GHC9.5billion to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Mr Ofori-Atta said this will represent 2.5% of Ghana’s revised Gross Domestic Product (GPD).

He said this when he briefed Parliament on measures the government has taken to sustain the economy due to the disruption caused by the virus outbreak

“Speaker, the total estimated fiscal impact from the shortfall in petroleum receipts, shortfall import duties, the shortfall in other tax revenues, the cost of the preparedness plan, and the cost of Coronavirus Alleviation Programme is GHC9,505 billion.”

He added that the measures must be put in place to close the fiscal gap of GHC11.4 billion.

He said that the outbreak of the disease will leave a devastating impact on Ghana's economy if not contained.

“Trade volumes and values are reducing as a result of the pandemic and reduction in imports will slow down production in Ghana. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for Ghana’s petroleum revenues and other tax revenues are to slow down due to the outbreak of the virus,” he stressed.

Parliament received a request from the government on Saturday (March 28, 2020) to approve an agreement with the World Bank for an amount of US$35 million to support its operations in dealing with the pandemic.

The proposed agreement is between the Government of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA), a subsidiary of the World Bank.

This was a day after President Akufo-Addo had directed the Finance Minister to prepare a coronavirus alleviation programme due to the effect of the coronavirus on the economy for approval by parliament.

The Finance Minister is required to make a minimum of GH¢1 billion available to households and businesses, particularly small and medium scale enterprises.

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