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ACCRA: The International Monetary Fund has suggested to Ghana's government that it request an extension to a three-year $918 million aid programme due to end in April 2018, the Fund's Ghana representative Natalia Koliadina said on Thursday.

The request is the latest sign that the new government may change the stance it adopted when it came to power in January that it would like to end the programme on time but would maintain aggressive policies to restore fiscal balance.

"We have suggested to the authorities the possibility of extending the programme following a significant setback in implementation last year," she told Reuters, adding that the government was considering the suggestion.

The West African economy grew strongly until 2014 on the back of its exports of gold, cocoa and oil. But it signed the IMF deal in April 2015 to restore fiscal balance to the economy and combat high public debt, interest rates and inflation.

The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo said it inherited undisclosed debt and contract arrears of around $1.6 billion and a 2016 budget deficit of 8.7 percent of GDP above the 5.3 percent target.

It has since outlined a budget to restore fiscal discipline, spur economic growth and create jobs driven by the private sector.


Copyright Reuters, 2017

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