Government has disclosed it is working to present data on the country’s energy sector to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which should lead to the release of the third tranche of the bailout funds.
According to the Finance Ministry, the information has become necessary as the Fund considers the power sector as one of the critical factors to the progress of the bailout deal.
“It is data that has to do with the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the energy sector that we would have to give the review committee which will further present to the Board, and then the next tranche will be released to us,” Deputy Finance Minister, Mona Quartey told Citi Business News.
Mrs. Quartey further explained, “Over the past few weeks, the SOEs have brought most of their financials and two weeks ago, government restructured the VRA’s legacy debts and that has allowed the commercial banks to have stronger balance sheets. Also the MiDA effort has entered into force and this will make the ECG more efficient as a distributor of power in the country so that we can rely on the power supply that it offers us.”
The IMF Board is expected to meet later this month and make a decision on the report by the fund’s review committee.
Ghana, has since the signing of the agreement, received an estimated US$233.1 million out of the 918 million dollars it agreed to on April 3, 2015.
In addition, Citi Business News is learning government is to update the Fund on progress made in passing some legislations in maintaining fiscal discipline.
These include the BoG Amended Act which placed the cap of government’s deficit financing at 5 percent; contrary to the zero budget deficit financing suggestion by the IMF.
Commenting on the significance of the power sector to the deal, Mrs. Quartey stated, “It is to ensure the viability of the power sector because that sector affects every part of the economy so the Fund wants to make sure most parts of the economy.”
Eurobond rate ‘good’ for economy
Meanwhile Mona Quartey has lauded the 9.25 percent investors gave on Ghana’s fifth Eurobond issued last Thursday.
Contrary to assertions that the rate was punitive considering the length of time [5 years] and prevailing economic conditions, the Deputy Finance Minister maintains the figure is realistic for the economy.
“It is not punitive, rates are measured by risk reward and those interest rates are good for a lower to middle income country like Ghana.”
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana