One of Africa’s economic challenges is ‘ghost workers’ but Ghana’s finance minister has taken the crucifix to the cemetery and exorcised 50,000 from the economic book.
By Malcolm Rice
Ken Ofori Atta said “50,000 ghost names” have been cleared from Ghana’s payroll and pension payout database, adding that the drive is one of many actions taken by the New Patriotic Party government to stop all leakages of money and also to reduce Ghana’s wage bill.
The disclosure was made during a review programme of Ghana’s extended credit facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Accra when his disclosed the action.
He also said reforms have been enacted by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Customs Excise and Preventive Service to prevent dire revenue loss.
An IMF mission visited Accra during April 3-13, 2017 to conduct the Article IV consultation and discussions on the fourth review under the Extended Credit Facility.
The IMF officials recommended that to resolving Ghana’s longstanding challenges, ambitious and sustained reforms should be made across key policy areas, going beyond central government’s operation to focus on the broader public sector.
“The immediate priority is to ensure fiscal discipline, by targeting a budget deficit sufficient to place public debt on a clearly declining path. More transparency and accountability, especially in the energy sector, will help reduce the drain on public resources, tackle inefficiencies, and send a credible signal about the government’s commitment to lasting change.
“The financial system is overall adequately capitalized, though addressing weaknesses in some banks and microfinance institutions is necessary to improve the availability and affordability of credit to the private sector”.