Finance Minister Seth Terkper is impressed with how government and Ghanaians, in general, have managed the effect of the current economic crisis, compared to previous times.
The Minister said, though the current crisis has been the toughest so far, Ghanaians have been able to withstand them.
“I think one of the things we have done as Ghanaians is managing our crisis. I will say that we have probably managed this crisis far better than we would have…” Seth Terkper said in a joint interview with the Citi Breakfast Show and Radio Gold.
According to Mr. Terkper, the possible effect of a combination of economic issues including “disruption of gas supply, a fall in oil and cocoa prices” on the country’s economy could have been worse.
Government has come under intense criticism due to the huge budget deficit, inflation rate and the worsening power challenges among others, which have caused businesses to collapse while others have laid workers off.
According to the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), over 500 jobs have been lost between January and March 2015, due to a combination of economic problems and the energy crisis.
The ICU has also projected that about 3,000 jobs will be lost by close of 2015 if the government fails to take austerity measures to rescue the ailing economy.
Speaking on these challenges, Terkper revealed that the government will implement some home grown measures to rectify these challenges.
“At the moment, you know we are supplying gas and it is helping with the ‘dumsor’ situation…We have just signed the Sankofa agreement which could lead to an expansion of the gas processing plant, we are signing various IPPs to resolve the power challenges. There are other expansion projects ongoing at Kotoka and other places.”
Terkper also pointed out that government had not shelved its plans to implement a hedging policy on crude oil.
The policy is expected to protect and cushion local consumers from paying high fees for fuel during fluctuating periods.
Seth Terkper however explained that the implementation of the programme had delayed due to the current economic conditions.
“We did not stop the hedging programme.The hedging programme is ongoing. In fact, we are working with the NPA and we are about to get to the end of it,”the Minister explained.