Ghana to raise public-sector wages 13% this year - CNBC Africa

Ghana to raise public-sector wages 13% this year

Western Africa

by Reuters 0

Ghana produces cocoa, gold and oil. PHOTO:

This is the first increase since 2013, when the government froze annual increments as part of its efforts to cut spending, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

The West African nation, which produces gold, cocoa and oil, is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on an assistance package to fix its fiscal problems, which include a wide budget deficit partly caused by government salaries.

As part of its stabilisation plan, the government froze annual wage increases in 2013. Since then, it has paid an annual 10 per cent ‘cost of living allowance’ but left wages flat.

Deputy finance minister Cassiel Ato Forson told Reuters the salary increase was agreed after talks with labour unions and will be based on basic pay in 2013. The increase will come into effect this month and employees would not be paid any arrears, he said.

(READ MORE: Ghana’s fiscal problems threaten economic growth – IMF)

“We believe (the IMF) will have no problem because we are still within the budget limit discussed with them,” Forson said.

Finance minister Seth Terkper said last week that a final policy document was to be completed for submission to the IMF board for approval and he hopes Ghana could have a program in place in the first quarter of 2015.