It’s been a miracle to be alive – Ofori-Atta
Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta has shown gratitude for his post-COVID-19 complication treatment progress.
In his first public comment after seeking medical attention in the United States, Mr Ofori-Atta recounted the “very trying period,” adding that “it has been a miracle to be here”.
“God has been merciful, and I am particularly grateful for the prayer support,” he said.
He was grateful to his family and support from Ghanaians, as he sang praises unto God.
He alluded to the Bible and how God saved Peter from prison, comparing it to how he has been miraculously saved.
“The doctors here (US) have been fantastic and dedicated but even they, acknowledge that there must be someone upstairs who is watching over you because the numbers have been so critical”.
He was speaking during an online Post Budget Forum organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers on the 2021 Budget.
The Ministry of Finance announced on February 14 that Mr Ofori had travelled for medical treatment.
The ministry explained he suffered from COVID-19 in December 2020 but later had medical complications which doctors advise, “require further interventions not currently available in Ghana”.
The 62-year-old was scheduled to appear before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 for vetting, following his nomination by President Akufo-Addo to continue as finance minister in the second term.
Comments on the 2021 budget
The 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy was presented to parliament on Friday, March 12, by Caretaker-Finance Minister Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu.
Mr Ofori-Atta believes the proposal would propel Ghana into recovery with the new taxes and other programmes outlined to generate funds.
“If we have the numbers at the right places then really within two or so odd years we should be able to move revenue to the 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that we want because of digitization etc,” he said.
He said the country had issues with sanitation and the Delta Fund for energy, and these need to be tackled and so the petroleum taxes are supposed to solve that.
On the COVID-19 levies, Mr Ofori-Atta pointed out that it would ensure that the government is “able to pay for vaccines and get our people working so we don’t have lockdowns”.
It would help the government to complete its Agenda 111 “so that our infrastructure for health care would be robust”.
Agenda 111, under President Akufo-Addo, would see the construction of 100-bed district hospitals and some regional hospitals across the country.
He said it was time for banks to help especially after the financial sector clean-up.
The government said GHC 21billion was spent in executing the exercise.
After streamlining activities in the sector, the minister believes they should pay back since the “responsibility is not only for the government but for all Ghanaians”.
Mr Ofori-Atta wants Ghanaians to embrace a collective responsibility to revive the economy “as a shared burden philosophy” moving forward.
He said it was an incredible period of renewal where “we as Ghanaians must fight to get the economy back to where it was or where it should be”.