“Issue of debt distressed neither here nor there” – BoG Governor

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, says the issue of whether Ghana’s debt is distressed is neither here nor there.

There had been concerns about whether the economy is distressed, based on the high debt level of the country. Ghana’s debt is presently estimated to be ¢351.8 billion as of the end of December 2021.

But answering questions at the recent press conference to announce developments in the economy, the Governor said “the issue of whether Ghana’s debt is distressed is neither here nor there. We said that the rating companies had downgraded Ghana because of fiscal and debt sustainability issues”.

According to him, the government has announced fiscal measures to help address the fiscal imbalance.

“These are matters already in the public domain and the government has announced ways to deal with it. I know about the 20% expenditure cut, which is one of the measures that the government is undertaking”.

Some of the fiscal measures by the government include additional 10% cut in discretionary spending, on top of a 20% cut announced earlier this year, reduction in salaries of government appointees by 30%, a moratorium on government vehicle purchases and foreign travel without prior approval.

On the Central Bank’s position on the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy), the Governor said any revenue measure that boost government income is highly welcome.

“I think that anything that can help raise government revenue needs some consideration – because this is the priority at this time. We all recognise the importance of raising revenue for the budget.”

“Yes, we have other objectives such as financial inclusion, but the priority right now is for us to put in measures that would allow the government obtain the needed revenues to address the fiscal concerns. That is a critical matter for the Ghanaian economy so that is what I will say on the issue of the e-levy.”