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General News of Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Source: Ghana Guardian

Ken Ofori-Atta must carry the cross of his own mess - Minority Leader

The Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for the Tamale South Constituency, Haruna Iddrisu, has taken a swipe at the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta over the management of the economy of Ghana for the first term of the administration of President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Though the Appointment Committee led by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, recommended to the House for the nomination of the Finance Minister to be approved by consensus, the Minority group had a different motive for giving him the nod for the second time.

Seconding the motion for the adoption of the Appointment Committee’s report on the Finance Minister, the Minority Leader who is also the Ranking Member on the Appointment Committee, said Mr. Ofori-Atta should be made to carry the cross of the mess he has created in the economy.

He raised several occurrences under the administration of the Finance Minister which they consider to be underlying his failure at handling the economy. This includes what he referred to as irresponsible management of statutory funds such as the GETFUND, National Health Insurance Scheme; as well as accusations of inaccurate reportage of the Fiscal Deficits as a percentage of GDP and the purported issues arising from the PIAC report.

“Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, we think he has created a mess as finance Minister and he must carry the cross as Finance Minister. I beg to second the motion,” Haruna Iddrisu observed.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament on Thursday and Friday the 25th and 26th March 2021 after he was excused from appearance on an earlier date because he was flown out of the country to seek treatment for post Covid complications.

Due to his poor health, his appearance at the Committee was extended to two days, where the committee’s vetting process was interrupted every two hours to allow him to take medication intermittently and take a rest.

As the result of his unavailability to perform his duties, it would be recalled that the 2021 Budget which is the Government’s Fiscal Policy for the Year ending December 2021, had to be presented to Parliament by a caretaker Minister Responsible for Finance, in the person of the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who also doubles as the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business.

After a few comments by Members on the report of the Committee presented on behalf of the Chairman by Frank Annor Dompreh, the House adopted the report and subsequently approved Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta as the Minster for Finance.

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