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11.03.2006 Business & Finance

Finance Minister calls for improvement in public finance management


Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, March 10, GNA - The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has called for an improved public finance management in the country at all levels if Ghana is to meet her expected revenue requirements.

He therefore, called on the improvement in the systems put in place to ensure that revenue agencies rake in as much revenue for development, adding that unless practical steps are adhered to for the attainment of set goals, it would be very difficult to move up on the country's development ladder.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu explained that it was imperative for the country to raise enough funds to match up any future funds from her development partners. He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the fringes of the just ended session between ECOWAS/UEMOA Finance Ministers and the European Union in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou.

The Minister who led Ghana's delegation to the meetings said there was a good opportunity for Ghana to meet the requirements for change. The Meeting was the mid-term review of the implementation of the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) and the relevance of the strategic initiatives being taken by the 16 participating countries.

Mr Baah-Wiredu, who was speaking on the implications and his impressions on the just ended talks indicated that revenue agencies and their corresponding spending agencies should work to make good use of funds allocated and also to ensure that spending falls within the scope of the national budget.

He explained that the mid-term review session with the various EU Commissioners in Burkina Faso was most relevant as it offered them the opportunity to prepare adequately towards absorbing extra funds in the upcoming 10th EDF.

The Finance Minister welcomed the decision of the Commissioners to establish a fund for countries deemed to be performing well in terms of peace and security, increasing development capacity as well as playing a leading role in regional development.

Mr Baah Wiredu indicated that government was upbeat about the provision of infrastructure, especially roads and bridges for the major communities in the country, stressing that water was a major item in meeting food requirement, adding that government would do everything to have these in place. He called for vigilance at all levels, arguing that with the passage of the Financial Administration Act, Internal Audit Act and the Procurement Act, Ghana was on track to meeting the EU's rules and regulations on absorbing regular funds.

Mr Luis Mitchell, Head of the EU Commissioners commended Ghana's participation in the EU's EDF saying she was ahead of many countries in shaping her economy for the better.

He praised the country for maintaining peace and stability and the pace of economic growth, saying that there was the possibility for the EU to release an incentive package for countries doing well in the area of good governance.

Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS and Ismaila Cisse, Chairman of UEMOA said they were happy that something positive was going in many countries on the sub-region but urged a greater regional approach to dealings with the EU to foster a stronger front for discussions.