Finance Minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta faces an inquiry from lawmakers amid Ghana’s worst financial disaster in a era.
Ghana’s finance minister mentioned Friday he was “really sorry” for the nation’s financial woes however defended himself towards accusations he was unfit for the job.
Minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta confronted an inquiry from lawmakers over his monetary administration, as the federal government got here underneath rising stress and President Nana Akufo-Addo confronted mounting criticism for being Ghana’s worst chief in a era. It has change into the worst financial disaster.
Amid the inquiry and disaster, the federal government can be negotiating a mortgage of as much as $3bn from the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF) to assist shore up public funds.
A prime producer of cocoa and gold, Ghana additionally has oil and fuel reserves, however its debt funds are excessive and, like the remainder of the continent, it has been hit exhausting by the worldwide pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine. .
Ghana’s cedi has fallen greater than 40 p.c this yr, placing stress on importers of each uncooked and processed items. Shopper inflation hit a 21-year excessive of 40.4 p.c in October as a consequence of rising import prices.
Towards this backdrop, Ofori-Atta has come underneath fireplace from lawmakers from each main political events for calling for her elimination from workplace. Final week, Parliament arrange a committee to research allegations the opposition is making the most of Ghana’s financial woes by way of unlawful funds and unethical contracts.
In his first public feedback on the matter, the embattled minister mentioned he was involved concerning the West African nation’s troubles, however added that the allegations have been baseless.
“I acknowledge that our economic system is dealing with difficulties and Ghanaians are struggling,” he mentioned.
“As President Akufo-Addo has dealt with this economic system, I really feel ache personally, professionally and in my soul.”
He mentioned that by the tip of the listening to, “unfounded doubts about my motives, my competence and my character may have been dispelled”.
He additionally denied claims that he misreported financial information to Parliament and that his insurance policies have been chargeable for the cedi’s sharp decline. “The concept that the cedi’s devaluation is the results of monetary threat and recklessness shouldn’t be supported by the accessible details,” Ofori-Atta mentioned.
A parliamentary committee will examine the allegations towards the minister earlier than deciding whether or not to desk a movement of censure in Parliament, which is evenly break up between the ruling NPP and the opposition NDC celebration. The President has the ultimate phrase on whether or not to dismiss a minister.
Earlier this week, Akufo-Addo sacked the federal government’s junior finance minister, Charles Addo-Bohin, over corruption allegations after he appeared in an exposé. Earlier this month, protesters additionally known as for the president’s resignation amid rising meals and gas prices.