President John Mahama of Ghana has banned government officials from flying first class, according to Reuters.
The agency quoted Edward Omane Boamah, the country’s communication minister, as saying the presidency issued the directive in order to avoid “unwarranted foreign trips on the public purse”.
The development was described as a renewed effort to cut wasteful spending as part of the implementation of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid deal to revive state finances.
A major producer of cocoa, gold and oil, Ghana began a three-year programme with the IMF in April to fix its economy, which has been dogged by high deficits, a widening public debt and unstable local currency.
Seth Terkper, finance minister, told Reuters that the cabinet is also discussing a financial accountability bill which would impose penalties such as dismissal or jail time for public officials who are found to violate it.
“It is expected to be clear enough to enable the general public to see malfeasance if there is (any) and hold the agency involved accountable,” he said.
Ghana is preparing to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2016.