New Finance Minister Has No Magic Wand – Economist

Source The Ghana Report

Economist Professor John Gatsi says the newly appointed Finance Minister, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, can do little to transform the Ghanaian economy amidst huge challenges.

The Dean of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Business School believes that the new appointee can only continue with existing economic programmes.

Prof. Gatsi entreated Ghanaians to lower their expectations because the incumbent government has less than a year to complete its term, and the 2024 budget is already approved for any significant changes.

Ghana is implementing a US$3 billion loan programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability.

“What you cannot do in seven years, you cannot do in 10 months, and even in the 10 months, we’re only going to see governance from now to June. From there, everyone will be actively involved in political campaigns,” Prof Gatsi said.

“He [Dr Amin Adam] has been involved in the preparation of the budget and IMF discussions, so he’s not new to the fund. The replacement is just a continuation. Nothing will change,” the Economist pointed out.

He explained that though the 2024 budget review presented an opportunity for some economic decisions to be made, “that will not bring any change – he [the new Minister] will only continue to drive the vehicle.”

“The reshuffle has come late; it’s not in response to the calls by Ghanaians nor the 98 parliamentarians, but in response to the party, therefore, meant for political gains,” he stated.

Prof Gatsi noted that such a political decision had been made because some people “are tired and would not commit themselves to vigorous campaigning and resource mobilisation [in the 2024 elections].”

He was of the opinion that the reshuffling, including that of the Ministry of Finance, was to pave the way for new people, most of whom would be working hard and pushing financial resources in the campaigns to gain some favours later.

On February 14, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced a major shake-up of the ministers forming the government.

The notable person to fall under the axe was Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

President Akufo-Addo also axed Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Ibrahim Awal Mohammed and Oti Regional Minister Joseph Makubu.

Ministers and deputy ministers who doubled as legislators but failed to retain their seats in the just-ended parliamentary primaries of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) were also removed from office.

An official statement released by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin, revealed the setup of the new government.

Six other ministers were casualties in the latest reshuffle by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

They are Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu; Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie; Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Dan Botwe; Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta; Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Lariba Abudu, and Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Freda Prempeh.
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