Ghana to lose $500m from fall in oil revenue

xxGHANA will lose 500 million dollars oil revenue inflows into the economy due to the current fall in global oil prices, President John Mahama has said.

“This year, we were expecting about 1.2 billion dollars from oil revenues but the price of crude oil has gone down, and from the estimates we have, we are going to lose about 500 million dollars in oil revenues coming into the economy,” he said.

Speaking at a well-attended meeting of the Ghanaian community in Germany on Tuesday to wrapup his state visit to that country, President Mahama indicated, however that the drop in oil prices, would not affect infrastructural development since most of the on going projects in the country had already been financed.

Oil prices have hit five –and-a-half-year lows due to worries about surplus of global supplies and lackluster demands.

“Ghana is a modest exporter of oil; about 120,000 barrels per day of oil. Oil is increasingly becoming a significant addition to our revenues and so with the oil price behaving the way it is, definitely we will see a reduction in revenue on the budget side,” President Mahama said.

That notwithstanding, the President said since Ghana was a net importer of oil, it stood to gain substantially from the decline in prices.

“It is a question of balancing, and I think that overall, if you strike the balance, we are a higher net importer of oil than exporter, and so I believe we will manage to balance things out.”

The lively town hall meeting at the Intercontinental Berlin, attracted more than 300 Ghanaians resident in Germany.

“As the meeting was going on, a handful of Ghanaians, bearing placards, braved the chilly winter night to demonstrate at the precinct of the hotel against the Mahama administration, mainly accusing it of condoning corruption.

Touching on other matters, President Mahama stressed that Ghana could make major strides in development if the citizenry stopped dabbling in petty ethnic and partisan divisions.

Using the German experience as a reference point, he said: “The German people have built their country because they had a strong belief that after the World War when everything was destroyed, they could rebuild their country and make it what they could be proud of.

“If we (Ghanians) could have the kind of enthusiasm and zeal that the Germans had and believe in our country and stop petty ethnic and partisan divisions, I’m sure that our country would move forward,” Mr. Mahama.

He acknowledged efforts made by past leaders towards nation-building since independence, and pledged to do his part to move the nation further forward on the path of progress and prosperity.

“At any time you are in control and you are leading, all that happens is your responsibility. The blame game won’t take us anywhere, and that’s why I avoid blaming anything on a past leader”.

President Mahama drew laughter from the large gathering when he told his audience that back home in Ghana, he is referred to as “Mr. Dumsor” because of the erratic power supply situation facing the country.

“I accept responsibility for it, and I will work towards resolving it…my focus is to resolve this once and for all and permanently,” he stated

While in Germany, President Mahama held discussions on Monday with the Federal President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, and also with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

From: Samuel Nuamah, Berlin, Germany.

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