We need a sound economic footing as we battle COVID-19-Prez

President Akufo-Addo says it is imperative we plan to restore Ghana onto a sound economic footing, and create a path towards growth and transformation, as we continue to battle the coronavirus.

According to the president, the recent one billion United States dollar Rapid Credit Facility, secured from the IMF, without any precondition, and approved by Parliament, will be used to help close the financing gap that has been created by the pandemic through shortfalls in revenues and additional expenditures.

The president commended the decision by commercial banks and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to allocate a Ghc3 billion credit facility to help revatalise companies in the country.

”I welcome the three billion cedi (GH¢3 billion) credit and stimulus package from the commercial banks, with the support of the Bank of Ghana, to revitalise industries, especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, services, and manufacturing sectors.’

He said: ”The Minister for Finance, that hardworking, outstanding national treasurer, together with his counterpart in South Africa, as co-Chairs of the Committee of African Finance Ministers, have been leading a Pan-African effort to bring debt relief to the continent in these difficult times.”

”Last Friday, they achieved a nine-month debt standstill from the World Bank for all qualifying members of the International Development Association (IDA), starting from 1st May, 2020, totalling some forty-four billion United States dollars ($44 billion) for the countries of Africa. In the case of Ghana, this amounts to a freeze in principal and interest payments for the year, amounting to some five hundred million United States dollars ($500 million). This will create greater fiscal space to help make the Ghanaian economy much more resilient. I have charged the Finance Minister to leave no stone unturned to achieve an even greater and comprehensive debt relief programme for Africa,” he added.

To him, ”Our success in defeating the virus is largely within our control. That means each and every one of us must exercise, at all times, during this period without the partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi, a strong sense of selflessness, self-control and self-discipline.”

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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