A new report by auditing firm, KPMG, analyzing the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ghana, has highlighted some positive measures necessary to reduce the financial burden on the economy.
Already, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that the fight could cost Ghana about 9.5 billion cedis, pushing the country’s budget deficit to about 6.5 percent.
However, KPMG in its report offers some insight on what government can do to sustain the economy.
The report, titled “The economic impact and implication of COVID-19: The Ghanaian Perspective” points out that the country can harness opportunities that are provided by import substitution, thereby, enhancing local production of goods and services.
It adds that Ghana can improve Agriculture Production and Export by looking at the opportunity to boost domestic production and consumption of some food commodities, such as rice, maize, cassava, yam and chicken.
The report stressed that the country can also focus on export of commodities for which Ghana has comparative advantage in, to trade within the West African Sub-region, among countries that have not closed their borders to cargo.
Looking at some positives externally, the KPMG report was of the view that consumers of petroleum products across Ghana are likely to benefit from the decline in international price of crude oil as the ex-pump price of petroleum is likely to reduce further.
Even though the export of some Ghanaian commodities may take a hit, the report was optimistic the increased demand for gold as a safe haven as a result of the coronavirus outbreak will likely impact positively on the balance of payments and revenue receipts from mineral royalties.
On the monetary side, the report maintains that an amendment of the Bank of Ghana Act to allow for government borrowing from BOG up to 10% of previous year’s tax revenue in the event of tight domestic financing market conditions could still be an option on the table.