Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has refuted claims that he has been reckless in the fiscal management of the economy.
He was responding to allegations contained in the censure motion by the Minority in Parliament that his fiscal recklessness had led to the crash of the Ghana Cedi, the worst-performing currency in the world.
In his response, Mr Ofori-Atta said despite the global pressures on the economy, his efforts have been to protect the public purse.
“The ground of recklessness presupposes that I have not been guided by the laid-down regulations. I want to state that I have not been reckless in the management of the fiscal operations of the government.
“Rather, our strenuous efforts to protect the public purse is what has helped this government to have achieved much, much more than any government over a similar period in virtually all sectors, including education, health, social welfare, policing, security in general, roads, railways, agriculture, industrialisation, tourism, digitisation, and funding for anti-corruption institutions,” he explained.
According to the embattled finance minister, all expenditures by his administration received parliamentary approval.
“On all those occasions, I received approval as Parliament subsequently passed the Appropriations Bills for all those budgets. Every key expenditure made has been supported by this House,” he stated to buttress his point.
He added that the delay in the passage of the Electronic Transaction Levy negatively impacted the fiscal state of the economy.
“Indeed, we all saw the dire consequences when the House, for months, refused to pass a major revenue generation item introduced by this government to support the fiscal stability of the economy.”
The Minority in Parliament filed a motion for a vote of censure against Ken Ofori-Atta, making seven allegations against the minister, including conflict of interest, financial recklessness leading to the collapse of the Ghana Cedi and gross mismanagement of the economy.
If the motion is successful, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have no choice but to dismiss his Finance Minister.
The Minority in Parliament stated the following as the basis for which Mr Ofori-Atta should be removed:
1. Despicable conflict of interest ensuring that he directly benefits from Ghana’s economic woes as his companies receive commissions and other unethical contractual advantages, particularly from Ghana’s debt overhang.
2. Unconstitutional withdrawals from the consolidated fund in blatant contravention of Article 178 of the 1992 constitution, supposedly for the construction of the President’s Cathedral.
3. Illegal payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts in flagrant violation of Article 176 of the 1992 constitution.
4. Deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to Parliament.
5. Fiscal recklessness, leading to the crash of the Ghana cedi, which is currently the worst-performing currency in the world.
6. Alarming incompetence and frightening ineptitude, resulting in the collapse of the Ghanaian economy and an excruciating cost of living crisis.
7. Gross mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy, which has occasioned untoward and unprecedented hardship.