Ghana lawmakers pass finance bills to tap IMF loan

Ghana’s lawmakers held a special sitting in Accra, the capital, to pass finance bills urgently required to back the government’s bid to secure an International Monetary Fund loan.

The parliament, which had been in recess, reconvened to review the excise tax stamp and approve concessional loans totaling $710 million, Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako said in the chamber on Tuesday. The house also approved standards for the automatic exchange of financial accounts information, while a bill to revise the formula for distributing education trust funds was postponed, he said.

Ghana is awaiting the decision of an official creditor committee on its request for debt relief. A favorable outcome in the form of financing assurances will open the door for IMF’s board to approve a $3 billion loan for the West African nation, which is in the process of restructuring almost all of its debt, that stood at 576 billion cedis at the end of November.

Before then, however, Ghana is taking steps to help boost its tax base and lift it from among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa. The country’s tax-to-GDP ratio in 2022 was less than 13% compared with the 18% average for the sub-region, according to the finance ministry.

Norvan report