The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has announced that government is seeking no additional funding, and will not request supplementary funds, for its activities for the rest of the year.
He said government would stay within the 2022 appropriation, and use the windfall from the upstream petroleum sector to make up for its revenue shortfall in the 2022 budget.
“In spite of the underperforming revenues and strong external headwinds, government is not seeking additional funds in this Mid-Year Review,” he stated yesterday when he presented the 2022 mid-year fiscal review to Parliament.
He gave the assurance that government would aggressively improve revenues even as it rationalises expenditures.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that the impact of external factors like COVID-19 and war between Russia and Ukraine had crippled the revenue sectors of the economy. He, however, assured that government would judiciously use the scarce resources at its disposal for the benefit of Ghanaians.
“We have seen some major shifts in our budget assumptions compared to November 2021, when we presented the budget. These changes have led to reduced revenues, increased interest payments and changes in interest rates and exchange rates.
“Mr. Speaker, the global economy is engulfed in crises unimagined since World War II, resulting in a conflagration everywhere. Global inflation and interest rates are at record high. Monetary policy adjustments in advanced economies are also tightening financing conditions for emerging markets. The Financial Times (FT) estimates that investors have pulled about US$50bn from emerging market bond funds in 2022, the most severe net outflows recorded in 17 years,” he outlined.
Mr Ofori-Atta assured Ghanaians that the government is determined to turn the current economic challenges around.
To this end, he disclosed that government is currently developing an Enhanced Domestic Programme to complement the GhanaCARES “Obaatan pa” programme. The programme, he noted, would help the country to return to a path of macroeconomic stability, debt sustainability, robust growth and a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“We expect this programme to be the basis of our negotiation with the IMF. In the coming months, we will continue to optimise and support our flagship programmes, and make strategic investments in the real sector to increase production, enhance productivity, and create jobs. The YouStart programme will be a fundamental intervention to advancing an entrepreneurial nation to create jobs,” Ofori Atta stated.
He said the Akufo-Addo government was not wavering at all in its resolve to turn the country around, stressing: “Ours is a history of turning things around when the country is in crisis.”
He added: “When the NPP government took over the reins of government in 2017, we inherited a challenged economy under an IMF programme, which we successfully turned around and exited the programme in 27 months.”
He said the government is not afraid to make hard choices for the good of the country, stressing that the NPP government has a proud history of finding solutions to Ghana’s issues.
“We have done it before and we will do it again, and with the help of this House and the support of the good people of Ghana, we shall come out of this stronger…I want to appeal to Ghanaians to keep faith with the President and his team. We know things are tough now. But we have a plan and the will to drive it,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker, we are confident because we have laid the key infrastructure upon which we can anchor this process of national growth. I want this House to do exactly what it did in the earlier crisis of 2020; support us in our bid to reduce the impact of this global crisis on the nation and to tackle the vulnerabilities in our economy that make us prone to such shocks. The President wants this sovereign House to be a strategic partner in Government’s efforts to stabilise the economy and spur growth to create jobs,” he added.
The Finance Minister added: “we are even more confident of an imminent breakthrough because we have a track record, a plan, the discipline, the dedication, the competence as well as the compassion for our people and country…We will chart a sustainable course that will restore and improve macroeconomic stability, energise and expand economic activity, create jobs and strengthen Ghana’s structural resilience to future external shocks.”
“Mr. Speaker, just as we did in 2017 and 2020, Government is resolved to continue to provide the necessary leadership to turn the economy around. Let me assure you, on behalf of the President, that we will do it again within the next two and half years. To do this, we will proceed with great caution, thoughtfulness, creativity and grit, as the old adage says, we shall “hasten slowly’,” he stated.