The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says Ghana has lost over one billion dollars in domestic revenue due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Mr Ofori-Atta revealed this in an opinion piece he wrote in the Financial Times.
Even though government has put in place measures to mitigate the impact of the Covid-!9 on the economy, the Finance Minister is still worried about the shortfalls in the country’s revenue.
Consequently, he wrote that “We have, in one fell swoop, lost more than $1 billion of revenue as domestic taxes continue to shrink, compounded by lost productivity and job losses”.
Mr Ofori-Atta again adds that “we still have an obligation to service our debt portfolio”.
Measures to address loss in domestic revenue
Ghana’s GDP was initially projected by the World Bank to grow at 6.8 percent this year, but the Country Director of the World in Ghana has since revised the target to 1.5 percent due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This, apparently, is a great concern to Mr Ofori-Atta, but he adds that the country will address the challenges posed by the pandemic in three approaches and that he hopes those measures help Ghana to revive it economy.
“We are focusing on three priorities: presenting to parliament on the alleviation programme; a post-Covid-19 strategy for a more resilient economy; and a co-ordinated African effort to get support for international debt relief.”
IMF approves $1bn for Ghana
Meanwhile, on n Monday, April 13, 2020, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $1 billion Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to Ghana.
A statement issued on the IMF’s website said the disbursement was to help Ghana address the urgent fiscal and balance of payments needs that it is facing, improve confidence, and catalyse support from other development partners.
The IMF facility comes with zero interest; with a repayment period of 30 years, and a five-year moratorium.
“The beauty of this is that the rapid credit facility which we went for I think we [Ghana] are the first to have gotten a double quota of a billion dollars and is a zero percent facility, it is 30 years, has 5 and half years moratorium, and it doesn’t come with any conditionalities”, he said.
He added that all the necessary paper works had already begun, and the $1 billion dollars loan should possibly hit the country’s account the end of this week.
Covid-19 case count in Ghana
Ghana has recorded 641 cases of Covid-19 out of which 83 people have fully recovered, but eight people have died.
Ten out of Ghana’s 16 regions have recorded cases with the capital, Accra recording the highest at 514.
The country is currently in its third week of a partial lockdown which has affected Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi.