IMF bailout: Gov't begins cut in public spending; public sector employment to suffer

Government has put a freeze on funding for new projects and loans, and has also cut down expenditure on travels by public officials as part of efforts to restrain spending under a possible IMF programme.

The country is required to reduce aggressively public spending under a possible Fund programme, likely to come in April, following the conclusion of talks with IMF staff mission.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM recently, Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, said government is also working to reduce the amount it spends paying public sector workers.

"We are going to require Ministries, Departments and Agencies to prioritise their capital expenditure. For example not necessarily in areas where oil revenues are spent but to curtail the extent of say travel", he said.

However, Employment Minister, Haruna Idrissu, has assured that there will not be  layoffs in the public sector under an IMF programme.

There have been reports that the country will be required to retrench some public sector workers as part of efforts to clean the wage bill.

But Mr Iddrisu says government's plan is rather to freeze employment and clean the wage bill of ghost names.

"What we have agreed on in terms of the wage bill is to keep it within the budget limits and not to allow for upward adjustments or review of that will undermine our [government] efforts at fiscal consolidation", said Mr Iddrisu.

Meanwhile, the IMF is optimistic that the proposed 3-year programme would help stabilise the economy in the short term. 

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Microsoft Ghana gives away a car in Lumia raffle draw

Accra, Feb. 28, GNA - Microsoft Mobile Devices Group (MMDG), Ghana, on Friday held it's first draw of the Lumia 535 activation draw to award the first winner with a brand new Hyundai i10 car as a way of showing gratitude to Lumia purchasers.

Mr Kola Osinowo, Business Lead of MMDG said although there are many technological brands in the country, some individuals have chosen to purchase Lumia devices and that is why such people must be shown love.

He said there are five cars to be won in the draw starting with Mr Jordan Patterson, an 18 year old student who won the first draw.

Mr Osinowo noted that there are four more cars to be won in the remaining two draws on March 13th and after March 31, when the draw would end.

'We have done this a couple of times including offering six of our customers trips to Singapore and given out 12 cars to customers in Nigeria so we can do it again to show gratitude to our customers in Ghana', he noted.

However, he said the more phones an individual buys, the higher the chances of winning.

He said Ghana is the focus of MMDG globally because it is a predominantly Smartphone led market.

Mr Ayisi Addo Boafo, Product and Account Manager of M tech Communications PLC, Ghana, said one can be eligible to win in the draw only if the fellow buys a Lumia 535 Dual SIM or any Lumia smart device.

'It is very simple and easy to win. One would just have to send Lumia, name and IMEI number of the phone to 1732 and stand a chance to win one of the five brand new cars', he said.

GNA

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