How Mahama has turned heat on Ofori-Atta before and after IMF announcement

Former President John Dramani Mahama has been talking economics in recent times especially amid an economic downturn.

The government in admitting the development has partly laid the blame on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on one part and the raging Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Mahama in critiquing the government’s handling of the economy has particularly taken aim at the Finance Minister as head of the treasury.

In the last two months, Mahama has called for Ofori-Atta’s sacking on three occasions. Twice at public lectures and the most recent in a Facebook post following government’s announcement that it was going to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

GhanaWeb tracks how Mahama is chasing Ofori-Atta for mismanaging the economy and piling pressure on the President to fire his appointee.

Call 1: May 1 lecture

Speaking at an event organised by the NDC in Accra, on Monday, 1 May 2022, dubbed: ‘Ghana at a crossroads,’ Mahama, noted that, the Finance Minister and the Economic Management Team (EMT) had thrown Ghana into an economic crisis and brought hardship on the people.

He said: “It is inconceivable that the Minister of Finance still remains at the post, Mahama said imploring President Akufo-Addo to sack the Finance Minister “without delay.”

Call 2: June 30 lecture

Mahama gave a presentation at the inaugural launch of the Think Progress Ghana group. The theme for the occasion was: “Ghana’s Debt Burden: Reflections and Solutions.”

In his concluding remarks he stated the need for Ofori-Atta to be relieved of his post. “We can no longer afford to dither and fiddle while our economy heads for the precipice. The consequence of that will be too grave to comprehend.

“Meanwhile it will serve the President well to use some instruments from the Presidential tool kit in times of crisis such as this. Fire your Finance Minister, conduct a major shake-up of government to remove the many dead woods that have turned ministries into their fiefdoms and finally huddle with the best brains this country has to formulate a comprehensive recovery plan for our economy.”

Call 3: July 2 Facebook post

Mahama in a June 2 Facebook post advised Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ring changes in the economic management of the country.

He specifically mentioned the roles of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and VP Mahamudu Bawumia – head of the Economic Management Team, EMT.

According to him, Ken Ofori-Atta has lost credibility and trust of stakeholders after he supervised the disastrous collapse of the economy. He urged the Akufo-Addo to immediately take a bold decision to replace his finance minister.

His post read in part: “the Finance Minister who has supervised the disastrous collapse of the economy cannot and should not be part of the team of negotiators. He has lost credibility and the trust and confidence of stakeholders in our economy.

“President Akufo-Addo must take a bold decision to replace his finance minister immediately with a more assured and competent person who is willing and able to work tirelessly to turn our almost hopeless situation around,” it added.

He also called for the removal of Vice President Bawumiaas the head of the Economic Management Team to enable the President to reconstitute the team.

Barely 24 hours after he (Mahama) initially advised the Akufo-Addo led-administration that the current economic challenges can only be salvaged with help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), government announced that it is heading to the IMF.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Information, on July 1, 2022, the decision is to invite Fund to support an economic programme put together by the government of Ghana.

“The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia Ukraine crises,” the statement indicated

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