The more Ofori-Atta’s issues drag the more Ghana’s economy hurts – Lord Mensah

The local economy will keep hurting the more the issues surrounding the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta drag, a Professor at the University of Ghana Business School, Lord Mensah has said.

The Finance Minister is currently being investigated by the 8-member ad hoc committee set by the Speaker of Parliament following a motion filed by the Minority to remove him from office.

Speaking on the Biz Brief with Sani Abdul-Rahman on TV3 Wednesday November 16, Prof Mensah said “The more this issue travels the more it hurts the economy.”

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu is making a case for the removal of Mr Ofori-Atta.

He said that the cost of doing business in Ghana is unacceptably high, for which the Minister must go.

He also indicated that the depreciation of the Cedi is making trading in Ghana very difficult.

In his view, the Finance Minister has failed hence, must go.

“The cost of doing business is unacceptably high for businesses. The pharmaceutical industry is complaining because it affects their import and they are made to pay more.

“The depreciation of the Cedi has affected even Markola women who cannot trade effectively,” he said at the committee sitting on Tuesday November 15.

The Tamale South lawmaker added that “His performance is disappointing that he is not fit to be Finance Minister.”

During the hearing, a co-chair of the 8-member committee investigating the allegations against the Minister, Dr Dominic Ayine, has said the proponents of the motion of vote of censure against the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta are not accusers.

Dr Ayine said that the Minority MPs who signed the motion only want the President to remove him as the Finance Minister.

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He said “they are not accusers.”

“They just think that the president should not be giving him a place as Finance Minister.”

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin set the committee to investigate the allegations made against Mr Ofori-Atta by the Minority in Parliament for which they filed a motion to get him removed from office.

The 8-member committee, co-chaired by Dr Ayine and KT Hammond, lawmakers for Bolgatanga East and Adansi-Asokwa respectively, has within seven working days to complete its work and submit the report.

The Speaker’s ruling came after the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament Alexander Afenyo-Markin challenged the motion of the Minority on the basis that the Finance Minister will suffer injustice if the House goes ahead with the application.

Mr Afenyo-Markin indicated that the claims by the Minority were criminal in nature upon a proper scrutiny.

To that end, he called for a fair hearing for the Minister.

The Minority accused Mr Ofori-Atta of, among other things, personally benefitting from every loan that the government takes.

But the Effutu Member of Parliament said “these matters, upon a proper scrutiny, are criminal in nature. The Minister should be given a fair hearing.”

“If we go ahead with the application we will be doing a lot of injustice to our colleague. If this application is allowed it will be injustice and unfairness, the Minister wouldn’t have been given adequate time to prepare for his defense,” he stressed.

Justifying the motion to get the Finance Minister removed, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said President Akufo-Addo was not ready to sack the Minister.

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Therefore, he appealed the Majority Members of Parliament to support the move to get him removed.

In his ruling on this matter, Speaker Bagbin said after announcing the formation of the committee that “The evidence will be placed before the committee. The Minister will have the opportunity to defend himself.

“A report will be presented to the House, and we will debate that report.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana



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