President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed cabinet to put together a broader stimulus package to reignite the Ghanaian economy by the time the battle against the COVID-19 is over.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, who made this known at a press briefing on Tuesday in Accra, said the President gave the directive during an emergency Cabinet meeting.
The Minister said under the coronavirus alleviation programme, there was some GHC600 million that was supposed to be used as soft loans.
“Yes that is there but there will be the need to do a broader and more elaborate stimulus programme, which is being worked upon and will be announced subsequently.”
Mr Oppong Nkrumah recalled that the President has directed the Minister of Finance to make available the cedi equivalent of $100 million to enhance Ghana’s Coronavirus preparedness and response plan.
This amount is to fund expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said of the $100 million, $65 million was readily available for the coronavirus programme.
He said the remaining $35 million dollars was a loan, which was to be approved by the World Bank Board for the Coronavirus programme.
“The $35 million is to be approved by the World Bank Board hopefully today; so that disbursement can be done as well for the preparedness programme,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
“The second part of it is the Coronavirus alleviation package or programme, which is budgeted at a $219 million cedi equivalent which is being taken from the oil funds.”
He recalled that Parliament recently approved a transfer of that amount of money into the contingency fund.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the Constitution says that the Committee responsible for financial measures in Parliament was the Committee that was clothed with the power to decide how that money, once it was in the contingency fund should be used.
He said the Minister responsible for Finance was going to make an application and the Committee would consider it to allow for that fund to be made available for the Coronavirus alleviation programme; declaring that “and we are expecting that to be a smooth process”.
He said the said amount was being used for the social interventions and related matters that were being outlined; which the President spoke to it in his address during his fifth broadcast to the nation on Sunday on the COVID-19 outbreak.