Sector Woes in Ghana

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Despite the general cry by business owners and the present government due to the Covid-19 outbreak. It will be good to see how the pandemic has affected some sectors in the country.

One of the major industries to have felt the impact of the coronavirus was the petroleum sector globally, as of the second week of March price per barrel of oil (PPB) was less than $20 at some point in the same month it nosedived to $ 12.

A huge loss to many oil-producing nations, not even the production war between Russia and Saudi Arabia could do anything to shore up the price of crude.

In Ghana like other nation globally some or most economic sectors are still reeling from the hit of COVID-19.

Petroleum

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there has been a significant decline in international prices of crude oil. This is as a result of a fall in demand. Crude oil prices have plummeted from US$63.21 a barrel in November 2019 to US$21.32 per barrel as at April 28, 2020.

This drop in prices, due to the decline in global demand for crude will obviously affect government petroleum revenue estimate for the 2020 fiscal year

Deloitte publication indicates that the estimated impact of the pandemic on petroleum receipts for Ghana will be dire. There will be a shortfall of about GH₵1,058 million in the Stabilization Fund.  Also, shortfall in the Heritage Fund is estimated to be GH₵453 million. Gap in Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) is pegged at GH¢3,526m, deficit in transfers to Ghana National Petroleum Commission is forecasted at GH¢642m.

Health

Ghana’s health sector was already in dire straits, the emergence of the first two cases of coronavirus only brought to light what was really hidden.  A sector in dire need of vital infrastructural and human development

The outbreak has made the country know what doctors and nurses had been going through in their daily activities. So this period has seen a massive support for them.

So far, GH₵572 million has been pumped into the sector, to procure PPEs and provide incentives to the front-line health workers, in the fight against the pandemic.

However total fiscal impact from revenue shortfall and cost of preparedness and response plan, according to figures released by Deloitte, is pegged GH₵9,505 million.

Education

This has been a terrible term or period for students across the country, a country already at crossroads due to the free education and it calendar that splits students into two groups i.e. golden and green track, with the latter having an upper hand in terms of studies.

To ease the disruption the Ghana Education Service (GES) is collaborating with some television stations and announced an e-learning platforms solely for the purpose of churning out educational content to keep the school children occupied while at home.

Prior to this, the university community in the country moved lectures online, relying on communication platforms like zoom and skype, among others. Some have even initiated plans to conduct their end of semester examinations online, but University student across the country are agitating against this mode of assessment.

However, the Minister of Education, Mr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has come out to say that there will be no exams for public institutions in the country, explaining that discussions are ongoing to determine the appropriate mode of assessing academic work.

Tourism

 The Tourism Sector, statistics from the Ghana Tourism Authority indicate that the sector will witness a decline in the next five months. This may result in a revenue loss of $170 million in its entire value chain due to the COVID-19 impact on Ghana’s economy.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, affirmed recently while assessing the effects of the COVID-19 on the industry. Last year was a success, following the Year of Return initiative, the tourism sector raked in about $1 billion dollars in revenue.

Another initiative dubbed “beyond the return”, was birthed. This was expected to bring in more revenue for the country. However, due to the uncertainties as to when the pandemic will be over, it is unclear whether the “beyond the return” initiative would come to light.

For the goals of this sector to be achieved government support as never before is needed, as tourism is able to attract direct foreign investment into Ghana.

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