The Appointments Committee of Parliament should have vetted the Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori Atta before all the other ministerial nominees, Former Finance Minister, Mr Seth Terkper, has said.
He noted that the Finance Minister plays an enormous role in the day-to day administration of the country because he prepares the government budget statement.
He explained in an interview with TV3’s Etornam Sey that that the budget statement is what will ensure allocations to the various ministries, departments and agencies to enable them carry out their work. Without the budget, he satated, the work of these agencies will be difficult.
His comments come after Mr Ofori Atta has asked the Appointment Committee to reschedule the date for his vetting. He travelled to the United States on Sunday February 14 to seek medical attention.
In a letter dated February 14, 2021 and addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Ofori-Atta said “I will travel to the United States of America to undergo a required medical intervention currently not available in Ghana. I am expected to be away for two weeks.
“Therefore, I kindly request your direction on arranging a new date for my appearance before the committee.
“The Ministry of Finance is available to discuss the necessary consequential processes to arrange an alternative date,” Ofori-Atta stated in his letter to the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
Mr Terkper told Etornam that ideally, the Finance Minister should have been vetted by now.
“What is the result of not being able to do it [Budget reading] at the end of March? We will go to the US situation where the government runs out of money. They use the expression shut down government because of government runs out of money. The Ghana Revenue Authority will be collecting the taxes alright but you have no authority.
“In the formal process there is always bound to have implications. Except for this administration which even in 2017 started the vetting with the senior minister and then the second to be vetted was the Minister for Finance, all other governments have vetted the Minister for Finance first.
“The reason is that the Minister for Finance must be nominated, vetted and approved by Parliament in order that they can go and attend to the very budget needs that we are talking about.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana