The Governor of the central bank, Dr Ernest Addison, has reiterated the need for government to develop accurate economic data reporting standards that will help in the formulation of policies that will guide the economy in a sustainable manner.
Speaking at the opening session of a workshop on government finance statistics on Monday, Dr Addison said statistics is a useful guide in designing quantitative macro economic framework because it provides a source data for the measurement of government saving, investment and consumption.
According to the governor, “It is the responsibility of governments to design fiscal and monetary policies that will guide the economy in a sustainable manner. Given this huge responsibility, it is important to monitor the activities of government.”
The lack of standard reporting and organizational structure across governments, he said, led to the development of government finance statistics manualâ€ by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Commenting on the essence of the workshop which was organised by the West Africa Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), the BoG Governor stated that, â€œgovernment officials charged with the responsibility or analysis of public finance statistics need to build their capacity from time to time on different aspects of the preparation and dissemination of government finance statistics.â€
“Government Finance Statistics can be used for policy making and analysis in many outputs including supplementary sections in budget reports, macroeconomic reports, fiscal rules and surveillance, policy evaluation, policy studies, econometric analysis and debt sustainability analysis,” he added.
The Director-General of WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, said the purpose of the one-week course is targeted at exposing participants to understand how existing fiscal data can be used effectively, how to improve source data so as to optimise the use of these data in fiscal analysis; the linkages of the Government Finance Statistics with the budget process among others,
The one-week course is attended by participants from across West Africa is expected to also explore issues related to data reporting to the International Monetary Fund as well as good practices including special data dissemination.
WAIFEM, an institution established by the central banks in Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1996, has so far held more than 590 workshops/seminars that have been attended by more than 16,210 participants.
The goal of the institution is to build capacity for improved macroeconomic and financial management in the constituent member countries.