The mood of the nation is tilting toward a possible resignation of the Finance Minister.
It has been a long time coming but following a meeting between Majority Members of Parliament and President Akufo-Addo last night, it is now a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’.
Ken Ofori-Atta’s grasp as manager of the country’s purse, has been called into question amid the current economic downturn.
On Tuesday, over 80 legislators belonging to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) said they could no longer shoulder the impact of Mr Ofori-Atta’s supposed inefficiency on the lives of their constituents.
The group is not the first to make such a call. Civil Society Organisations, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and a section of the general public have for the past few months called the Minister out for not having a firm grip on the country’s finances.
However, President Akufo-Addo has on multiple occasions mounted a strong defence for his cousin despite a U-turn to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a depreciating cedi, high inflation rate and the rising cost of living.
Below is a chronicle of moments where he has rejected such calls and his justification thereof;
- ‘The same man who took us out of IMF programme?’
By September 2 this year, the chorusing sentiments had risen to the extent that not commenting was not an option for President Akufo-Addo.
In an interview via Obaatampa FM, the President indicated that his assessment of his Ministers was a continuous process adding that a reshuffle was not on the table for now.
This included the Finance Minister who President Akufo-Addo said “is the very man who took us successfully out of the IMF Programme and helped us to reach the 7% of growth we had before
“People are forgetting that because we are in a difficult position. But he is the same figure. He hasn’t changed and I believe that he has the same determination to work us out of this crisis as he showed at the beginning of my government,” President Akufo-Addo added.
2. On what basis?
On October 17, 2022, President Akufo-Addo said there was no basis for him to sack the Finance Minister.
According to him, Mr Ofori-Atta has discharged his duties ‘excellently’ and he cannot relieve such a person of his position.
President Akufo-Addo speaking on OTEC FM said he has full confidence in the Minister.
He insisted that Ofori-Atta cannot be blamed for the current economic woes the country is facing.
3. Ofori-Atta’s sacking will disrupt IMF bailout process
This is President Akufo-Addo’s latest justification for his cousin’s continuous stay in office.
He has asked for more time for the embattled Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to conclude negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before any talks of resignation.
Documents available to JoyNews suggest a deal could be reached with the IMF in three weeks for a $3 billion balance of payment support.
This, the President believes, could be disrupted if Ken Ofori-Atta is sacked or forced to resign.
This was an outcome of a meeting held by President Akufo-Addo and NPP Members of Parliament over the demand for the Finance Minister to be sacked over his handling of the economy.
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