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Ghana’s Fiscal Gap to Fall to 7.5% of GDP on Oil Cash

Ghana, the West African nation that will start production of oil for export next month, plans to narrow its fiscal deficit in the next three years as revenue from the energy industry builds up, Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor said.

The cash budget deficit will narrow to 7.5 percent of gross domestic product next year from about 9.7 percent in 2010, Duffuor told Parliament in the capital, Accra, today. It will drop to 4.7 percent in 2012 and 3 percent in 2013, he said.

“We are ready to make the transition from stability to accelerated growth,” he said in a speech that outlined spending plans for 2011.

The country’s economy is set to expand 12.3 percent in 2011, Duffuor said, as production begins at the Jubilee oil field that will make Ghana one of the world’s top 50 crude producers. The field will initially produce about 50,000 barrels of oil a day in December, rising to 120,000 barrels a day over the next three to six months, according to Tullow Oil Plc, the field’s operator

Ghana will earn 584 million cedis ($406 million) from oil in 2011, with total oil and non-oil revenue projected at 10.6 billion cedis, or 34 percent of GDP, Duffuor said.

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