ACCRA Feb 15 The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) may consider extending its three-year aid deal with Ghana
if the new government requests an extension, the
Washington-based lender said on Wednesday.
The West African country is more than halfway through a $918
million programme signed in April 2015 to restore fiscal balance
to an economy dogged by deficits, high public debt and
The government of Nana Akufo-Addo, which took office in
January promising to pursue fiscal discipline, is considering
seeking an extension of the deal beyond April 2018 to December
of that year, a senior official told Reuters on Tuesday.
"The extension of the programme may be considered, if the
authorities request it and if it is required to achieve the
country's economic objectives," IMF Ghana chief Natalia Koliadin
The Fund said last week that Ghana urgently needs to narrow
its budget deficit, estimated to have hit 9 percent of GDP as of
the end of 2016 compared with a target of 5.25 percent.
The currency of the major commodities exporter on Wednesday
fell to a record low of 4.4600 to the dollar, down 5.5 percent
since January, according to Reuters data.
Finance Minister Kenneth Ofori Atta, who will present the
government's first budget to parliament in early March, said the
budget will aim to restore financial discipline and expand the
In one positive sign, the statistics office said on
Wednesday that annual consumer price inflation fell to 13.3
percent in January from 15.4 percent the previous month.
(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Edward McAllister and