Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said that the coronavirus pandemic will cost Ghana about GHS9.505 billion.Speaking on Wednesday in Accra, the minister noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana is recording a huge decline in revenue from the ports, petroleum revenue receipts as well as tax revenue and that will translate to a significant drop in revenue target for 2020.
Local media reports quoted the minister as saying that the government was taking some measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and that the measures included the establishment of a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) to facilitate economic recovery.
He gave the other measures as putting in place a GHS600 million soft loan scheme with a two-year repayment plan for micro, small and medium scale businesses and taking care of water bills for all Ghanaians for April, May and June 2020 as well as a relief for electricity consumers, where all lifeline consumers will get a one hundred percent waiver for three months; while other consumers will get a 50 percent reduction.
On the impact of the lockdown on Ghanaians, the minister said that it was impossible for the government to have continued the partial lockdown imposed on Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi beyond the three weeks announced by President Akufo-Addo to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Ghana.
He explained that the Ghanaian economy is largely informal and could not sustain that decision beyond the three weeks.