NPP MPs remain adamant, they don’t want Ofori-Atta to read the 2023 budget – Apaak

Builsa South Member of Parliament Dr Clement Apaak has said that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) who want the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to leave office are adamant in heeding to the request by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to allow him to present the 2023 budget statement and also to conclude the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) then the issue of his removal will be looked at.

He said they are insisting that the functions of government can go on smoothly without Mr Ofori-Atta being in office.

“The sense we are picking is that they are very adamant in ceding to the President’s original request.

“They still are insisting that all of the activities that the president has itemized as a basis of keeping Ofori-Atta can be performed without him being the person to perform them. So those are the the signals that we are picking,” Dr Apaak said on the Big Issue with Roland Walker on TV3 Wednesday November 23.

Speaking on the same show, Former Member of Parliament for Tema East,  Daniel Titus Glover appealed to Members of Parliament on both sides of the House, especially the Majority, to allow Mr Ofori-Atta to present the 2023 budget statement.

He asked the Majority to listen to the response given by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to allow Mr Ofori-Atta to present the budget and to also conclude the International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiations then, the issue of his removal will be looked at.

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Mr Glover said “let me join hands with the few Ghanaians who are appealing to both sides of the house, particularly, my colleagues from the Majority that, they should listen to what the President said when they met him with regards to the challenges they have with the Finance Minister. He should be allowed to read the budget, take them through the negotiations with the IMF.

“I will implore with my colleagues, both sides, to allow the Finance Minister to come to the chamber and deliver the budget on behalf of the President , it is an appeal and a passionate one.”

Another leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Otchere-Darko has also pleaded with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament to support in approving the yet-to-be delivered 2023 budget statement after its presentation.

He indicated that the the 2023 budget is crucial.

“It can’t suffer a fate similar to the 2022 budget and its revenue measures. It could completely derail negotiations with the Fund if not passed. Critical to this are its revenue generation measures. We plead the NDC joins NPP in this for Ghana,” he tweeted.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to present the budget in Parliament on Thursday November 24.

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Already, some aggrieved lawmakers on the side of the government threatened to boycott the presentation if Mr Ofori-Atta is the one assigned to present the document.

Member of Parliament for Asanti-Akyem North Kwame Andy Appiah-Kubi earlier served notice that the aggrieved MPs won’t be in Parliament to support the budget if Mr Ofori-Atta is the one to present the document.

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.

“And if we’re not going to do business with him, he does not participate in any process from the Presidency to the House. We will not participate in deliberations too.”

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.”

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By Laud Nartey||Ghana