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Creative revenue measures needed to solve fiscal slippages – Oppong Nkrumah

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister, has indicated that as part of the post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts, the government is considering rolling out creative revenue mobilization measures to fund its projects.

Speaking to journalists in Accra on Wednesday 10 March 2021 ahead of the presentation of the 2021 budget statement in Parliament, the Ofoase Ayirebi MP stressed the need for government to increase its revenue streams in order to embark on useful projects for Ghanaians.

According to him, the government needs creative revenue mobilization measures that will enable it to roll out its policies for the 2021 fiscal year.

“Between 2017 and 2019, we made great gains in our economy as the president outlined in his address to the nation. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has dealt a very big blow to the economy. One of its devastating effects is that it has gravely hampered growth,” he said.

“The consequence is that growth has suffered and our debt situation has gotten worse and COVID is a significant reason. The implication is that over the next four years, we have to gradually start what the economists call fiscal consolidation by trying to reduce the debt burden,” Nkrumah added.

Raising more revenues

“That means that we have to work to raise some more revenues to fund some of our debts, fund the already existing expenditure, and then to ensure that the ever-growing needs of the people are attended to. So as we are getting ready for the budget, now is a good time to have a conversation around fiscal measures or revenue measures. What can we do to be more efficient in raising revenue from some of the old revenue measures? Are there new revenue measures that we can consider?”

Ghana’s economy was on a smooth rise between 2017 and 2020 recording improvement in various areas such as growth in Gross Domestic Products (GDP), microeconomic stability, single-digit inflation, and stability of the Cedi. However, the influx of the coronavirus pandemic dealt the Ghanaian economy a blow eroding the gains government recorded.

Concerted effort

However, touching on ways the country can surge forward from the COVID-induced setback the minister called for all hands to be on deck. He said the country needs concerted efforts from relevant stakeholders on revenue measures that will help put the country back to its previous state before COVID.

“I am encouraging that now is the time for academia, civil society groups, people across the political divide who have an understanding of managing the economy and it related matters to come together and begin to explore what will be the best revenue measures that will not burden the people but helps us to raise some more revenue to clean up the challenges that we are facing currently,” Nkrumah stated.

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