The International Monetary Fund (IMF) board has approved Ghana’s third review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The nod was given yesterday [Wednesday].
Ghana last week provided in full data requested by the Fund to enable it meet and make a decision on the country’s ECF program.
Among the data requested by the Fund was information on the country’s energy sector.
According to the Finance Ministry, the information was necessary as the Fund considers the power sector as one of the critical factors to the progress of the bailout deal.
The passage of a number of key bills by Parliament related to financial, banking and public sector management was also undertaken some months back to facilitate the approval of the third review.
The approval of the review by the Fund will lead to the release of 114.6 million dollars to Ghana.
Reacting to the approval Finance Minister Seth Terkper, said the approval is a further confirmation of the economic turnaround story.
“The prospect ahead is even brighter with the coming on board of the utilization of the Policy Risk Guarantee to bring investments into the economy especially the oil and gas sectors.
The use of the integration of the oil and gas to the other sectors of the economy especially, fertilizer development for the agriculture sector and bitumen production for road infrastructure. Government would like to express its gratitude to all Ghanaians and especially the Parliament of Ghana for their continued support during this time”. He said.
This is the second positive review for Ghana this week alone, Early this week rating agency Moody’s affirmed Ghana’s ratings to B3 with a stable outlook from negative.
Despite the positive reviews the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) also this week warned Ghana’s economy faces a recession if steps are not taken to diversify its productive sectors.
Head of the Economics Department at the University Of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey in an interview with Citi Business News explained that, “there is the need for us to diversify our economy in the sense that non-oil GDP has grown higher than oil GDP. What it is telling us is that, given the slowdown in oil prices, over reliance on oil should be reconsidered.”
“We need to diversify our economy so we don’t enter into economic recession like Nigeria is currently facing,” he added.
By: Vivian Kai Lokko/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana