The Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo and his appointees have taken a 30% salary reduction as the country reels under economic challenges.
The pay cut also affects heads of State-Owned Enterprises and takes effect from next month, according to the minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.
The government is hoping to raise some $400 from this pay cuts and other reduced expenditure.
Ken Ofori-Atta told reporters in Accra that this decision forms part of expenditure cutting measures that will ensure the achievement of the fiscal deficit target of 7.4 per cent of GDP for 2022.
“Cabinet approved that Ministers and the Heads of SOEs contribute 30 per cent of their salaries from April to December, 2022 to the Consolidated Fund. We would like to thank the Council of State for their leadership in complimenting the government effort on this policy,” he said.
Ofori-Atta added that “these times call for very efficient use of energy resources. In line with this, there will be a 50% cut in fuel coupon allocations for all political appointees and heads of government institutions, including SOEs, effective February 1, 2022.”
The Finance Minister also announced that government has imposed a moratorium on all foreign travels except pre-approved critical statutory travels. This will reduce expenditure on all meetings and conferences by 50%.
Members of the Council of State who advise the President have also agreed to a 20% cut to their monthly allowance for the next year to support efforts aimed at stabilising the economy.
Mr. Ofori Atta said fuel prices in Ghana will also go down by 15 pesewas per litre effective April 1, 2022. This reduction will be in place for three months.
“To mitigate the rising price of petroleum products at the pumps, for the next three months, the government has decided to reduce margins in the petroleum price build-up by a total of 15 pesewas per litre with effect from 1st of April,” he said.
But the opposition party in Ghana has said the latest announced measures are not adequate to deal with the current economic crisis.
“Our immediate response to the Minister of Finance is to state emphatically and unequivocally that he has lost touch with reality, he is not in-tuned with the state of the Ghanaian economy,” the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu told reporters in parliament.
Ghana’s debt to GDP stands at 80.1 percent at the end of December 2021, according to the country’s central bank.