Ken Ofori Atta, Finance Minister
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that the imminent issuance of the $50 billion Century Bond will eventually stabilize the cedi and possibly strengthen it.
He said that the government wants to completely restructure the country’s economy through the Century Bond, and the amount involved would help reduce pressure on the cedi and stabilize it.
“The Century Bond will lead to a corresponding fall in the rising rate of the Cedi,” he said.
The Finance Minister, who presented some financial agreements to Parliament yesterday for approval after its emergency recall, told journalists after the presentation that currently the US dollar has strengthened against many major currencies across the world like the Pound and the Euro due to the strength of the US economy but the cedi is also holding against the dollar as a result of some pragmatic policies put in place by the government.
He said that the daily production of oil is expected to hit one million barrels by 2023 which would be able to also anchor the country’s economy and help stabilize the cedi in the long term.
Mr Ofori-Atta indicated that in the interim, the Ministry has signed the $1.3 billion cocoa syndicated loan which would soon hit the accounts of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and strengthen the cedi.
The minister indicated that the industrialization drive being initiated by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and the implementation of agricultural policies like ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ would increase food production which will help reduce the huge food import bill of the country.
According to the Finance Minister, $3.4 billion is spent to import food annually and that has also contributed to the pressure on the cedi.
The financial agreements presented to parliament yesterday by the finance minister included $40 million credit facility to finance the proposed Tourism Development Project, $50 million credit facility to finance the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project, $35 million credit facility to finance the proposed Public Sector Reform for Results Project and $95.4 million credit facility to finance the establishment and strengthening of Agricultural Mechanisation Service Centres.
The names of the new ministers nominated by the president in the recent reshuffle were also presented to the Appointments Committee for them to be vetted.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr