Finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has revealed that Ghana’s economy is showing signs of recovery.
According to him, the gradual recovery in the economy is indicative of the country’s progress from the seeming ill fortunes which it was confronted with last year. He indicated that for the first six months of the year, Ghana continued making progress to exceed its non-oil revenue targets for the year.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that government has seen improvements in its non-oil tax revenue collection despite some noticeable shortfalls in VAT. Nonetheless, he stated that oil revenues have fallen short of expectations due to changes in global prices.
To address the problem, the finance minister highlighted that government will, therefore, undertake a downward review of the oil-related revenue as well as the corresponding expenditures to align with the underperformance of some of its revenue handles, specifically, “this will impact the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA)”.
“The economy is showing signs of recovery. The exchange rate has stabilized, inflation has softened, and interest rates have declined since December 2022…”Ken Ofori Atta
Presenting the 2023 mid-year budget review in Parliament on Monday, July 31, 2023, Mr. Ofori-Atta indicated that the year 2022 was his worst year as the manager of Ghana’s public purse. He explained that the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic posed a great challenge for him and the governing New Patriotic Party, forcing the government to run to the International Monetary Fund for respite.
Economy impacted by COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine war
Furthermore, Mr Ofori-Atta stated that had it not been for the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and the Russia-Ukraine war, such a move to the IMF would not have been undertaken.
“2022 was the most difficult year for me as Ghana’s Finance Minister. On July 1st, 2022, we took what was then a very difficult but necessary decision to request support from the IMF to implement our post-COVID-19 Programme of Economic Growth (PC-PEG). The country was going through a dire period of economic uncertainties and despondency.”Ken Ofori Atta
Furthermore, he noted that measures taken by the Finance Ministry and the government have however begun yielding results as the economy is making a gradual recovery. He explained that the country has turned the corner and, more importantly, government is determined to continue down that path.
“A year on, our steps are more grounded, the vision is clearer, the path to recovery is better set, and confidence in our economy is back, growing gradually… Soon, we expect the measures taken to result in economic activity greater than anything experienced in the history of the Fourth Republic. Our plans and programmes should soon lead to a sustained increase in domestic production, including manufacturing and farming, replacing many of the products that we are used to importing.”Ken Ofori-Atta
Following this, Mr Ofori-Atta urged Ghanaians to support the government in its quest to restore the country’s economy from its ravages. He noted that the government is determined to ensure that the plight of the citizens are ameliorated urgently.