Debts, Agyapa issues will come up strongly at Ofori-Atta’s vetting – Gatsi

Issues surrounding the Agyada deal will feature strongly during the vetting of Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Dean of the University of Cape Coast Business School, Professor John Gatsi, has said.

He stated that the Agyapa deal is a national issue hence “I do expect that issues of Agyapa will be raised.”

He also said he expects the debt situation to also come up.

The 2021 budget statement presented to parliament by leader of government business Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has pegged Ghana’s fiscal deficit at 13.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

This deficit, according to the budget, includes the cost of the financial sector cleanup up.

“The fiscal deficit including the financial sector cost for 2020 is 13 .7 per cent of GDP,” the budget said adding that “it was financed from both domestic and external sources.”

Regarding Ghana’s debt stock, the budget said the total debt rose from 122billion in 2019 to 291.6billion as at the end of December 2020.

The debt include the cost of the financial sector cleanup, the majority leader added.

Prof Gatsi also asked the Committee not to use the vetting of Mr Ofori-Atta as a platform to examine the just approved budget statement for the 2021 fiscal year.

He told TV3’s Etornam Sey ahead of the vetting that “the vetting should not be examination of the budget.”

He further stated that the vetting is “Crucial because of the requirement of the Public Financial Act, it is crucial because it provide opportunity to clarify certain issues pertinent to Ghanaians.”

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For his part, Mr Courage Martey, a Senior Researcher at the Databank has said he expects issues of the financial sector clean up to dominate the vetting of Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta today Thursday March 25.

He also told Etornam ahead of the vetting that he will be very surprised if these issues do not dominate the screening.

“Issue of the financial sector clean will live with us for a very long time and so I will be surprised if they dont come put,” he said.

The Minister of Finance in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term was scheduled to be vetted on Tuesday, February 16 but was taken ill.

He had to be flown to the US, where he received treatment for post-Covid-19 complications.

He returned home on Sunday, March 21.

A statement from the Public Affairs Department of Parliament announced that the Committee will hold its public hearing to consider Mr Ofori-Atta as Minister of Finance.

It said attendance will be strictly by invitation with all Covid-19 protocols to be adhered to.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana