Cape Coast South Member of Parliament Kweku George Ricketts-Hagan, has said he was surprised that the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta managed to be the one to read the budget despite all the hurdles that were put in his way ahead of the presentation.
He said he strongly believes that Mr Ofori-Atta should not have been the one to present the budget.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday November 26, the Former Deputy Finance Minister said prior to the budget presentation on Thursday November 24, he had said that it was going to be one of the wonders of the world if Mr Ofori-Atta succeeded in being the one to present to the budget.
“I was extremely surprised that Ken Ofori-Atta was the one reading the budget. I had said if Ken Ofori-Atta succeeded in reading the budget it would be one of the wonders of the world.
“In any jurisdiction, he shouldn’t be the one reading the budget, it is really amazing the way he has been able to navigate his way through,” he said.
He stressed” Miracles have been made for Ofori-Atta to be made the Finance Minister.”
For his part, a Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo said he was disappointed in both the Minority and Majority for allowing the Mr Ofori-Atta to present the 2023 budget when they have all raised issues against him for which they wanted him out of office.
Prof Gyampo said the lawmakers failed to appreciate the mandate given to them by Ghanaians in holding the executive accountable.
Also speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday November 26, he said “I’m disappointed with the Minority group, Majority group, both of them, they have failed. They don’t seem to appreciate the mandate given to them by Ghanaians in 2020 elections that effectively gave a hang parliament.
“We have a minority that came out to say Ken Ofori-Atta was not fit for purpose and so many things surrounded him make them believe he is not somebody they can approve to be Finance Minister they said it openly, yet when they had the opportunity to vote, apart from one or two of them on the appointments committee, the rest of them voted in full support of the very person they said they won’t support.
“Fast forward, this same Minority group, they told us they have a lot of charges against him for that reason the censure motion, they had opportunity to interact with him through the committee and I was expecting they will be able to nail him with the questions but if you look at it, they probably did not have their firm grasp of the issues because some of the questions, you expected them to ask follow up questions to nail him.”
“The Majority group, I thought they were men, I thought they were brave…It appears our hope in the hung parliament is dwindling.”
The opposition Members of Parliament decided to be in Parliament on Thursday November 24 for the 2023 budget presentation by the Finance Minister despite the objections they raised against him.
This, they said, was without prejudice to the investigation that is being done by the 8-member committee on the Finance Minister following the allegations they made against him.
“While we remain committed to seeing through the process to censure the Finance Minister , we are mindful of our duty to carry out oversight on the Executive and preserve the interest of the Ghanaian people whose livelihoods the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration has severely undermined through mismanagement of the economy,” a statement issued by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said.
The leader of the group of NPP Members of Parliament who earlier threatened to boycott the 2023 budget statement Kwame Andy Appiah Kubi had also said that the NPP leadership and the leadership of the Majority spoke to them not to discriminate against anyone who appeared to present the budget including Mr Ofori-Atta.
Mr Appiah-Kubi who is also Lawmaker for Asanti-Akyim North said that they expected their constituents to understand them when they complied with the directive by the leadership.
He told Alfred Ocansey on the Sunrise show on 3FM Wednesday November 23 that “We have been told not to discriminate against anyone chosen to present the budget, including ken Ofori-Atta. We expect our constituents to understand us. The mother party has spoken.”
The MPs believe that a new face should replace the Finance Minister due to the current economic challenges.
He told journalists that “We’ve gone back to (our demand for the President to) sack him now and therefore should the budget be presented under the stamp of the Finance Minister, we’ll not participate because as far as we’re concerned we’re never going to do business with him.
But at a crunch meeting in Accra on Tuesday November 22, the leadership of the party and the Majority group in Parliament in a statement co-signed by Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh-Dompreh and General Secretary of the NPP, Justin Kodua Frimpong, said “In the meantime, the leadership of the Parliamentary Group and the leadership of the party counselled the Honourbale Members of Parliamentary party to respect to the caucus communications channel , and to the largest extent possible, work together as one caucus unit. .
“Leadership of the party in this regard call upon the Members of Parliament to attend to all Government Business in the House including in particular the 2023 budget statement and economic policy and all connected matters.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana