Ghana committing economic suicide with delayed 2023 budget –Says Dr. Assibey-Yeboah as he pleads clemency from NPP MPs

A former Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, has predicted disaster for the Ghanaian economy, if the majority group in Parliament, refused to fully cooperate with Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to present the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to the House, this week.

According to Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, despite the avowed resolve of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) to get Mr Ofori-Atta, out of office, the abrupt removal of Charles Adu Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, from office days before the presentation of the budget statement, has created a vacuum hitherto filled by an experienced hand with critical institutional memory.

the estimation of the former New Juaben South MP, after the dismissal of the Mr Adu Boahen, yanking off Ofori-Atta, as well even before the Budget statement, would be a double jeopardy that may be useful for the optics of partisan politics, but certainly not a deeply thought-through administrative strategy.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah, indicated that the loss of Charles Adu Boahen is a huge blow to the Ministry, and that the President would need some time to restore normalcy there.

“We are told the date for the Budget statement is long overdue. It would be economically suicidal to risk any further avoidable delay. Let the man present the Budget. The signals we are picking are disturbingly worrying and must be addressed in direct and candid language that by reason of the sensitive and difficult economic situation we are experiencing as a country and its global nature, it would be prudent for us to cooperate with and fully support Ken Ofori-Atta to, at least, present the Budget and Policy statement as well as see to the successful passage of the Appropriation Bill in our collective, rather than individual interests.

“In all honesty, I believe that no matter how noble the intentions of the persons calling for Ofori-Atta’s sack may be, the same noble intentions if sought after in a haste as it seems to be the case now, could end in a waste and turn out to be destructive rather than constructive”, Dr Assibey-Yeboah noted during a rather brief conversation with journalists on Saturday.

With a few days to the presentation of the Budget, there are concerns that some grumbling members of the Majority Caucus are threatening to boycott anything and everything that has to do with Ken Ofori-Atta and this is what has caused Dr Assibey-Yeboah to call for calm heads and tolerance.

“The country is in an era of economic crisis where world economies are in a recession. We cannot afford to risk a decision that would disturb our economy.  Even the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament gave Ken Ofori-Atta his right to be heard at the Committee. At least they tolerated him and agreed to disagree but still they worked with him at the Committee so I find it a bit unusual if not unfortunate that some members from our side would still insist they do not want to see even his shadows at the Plenary at the threshold of the Budget statement.

“This cannot be the best of ways to build a democracy or be a fitting member of any group. You have made your demand on what you want to happen to the appointee, the appointor has accepted your demand and both parties have agreed on the roadmap to that specific demand. That roadmap has been told to the general public and there is calm. It is just fair that the agreement is adhered to and we all play our parts in sincerity in the larger interest of the Group, the Party and Government”, Dr Assibey-Yeboah added.

The Minority Caucus filed a motion of censure for the immediate removal of the Finance Minister even before he reads out the Budget and Police Statement but the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin set up an 8-member ad-hoc Committee to probe the seven (7) grounds or allegations contained in the motion.

When Ken Ofori-Atta, appeared before the ad-hoc committee probing the censure motion for his

removal, he rebuffed the allegations against him and challenged the veracity of those allegations.

The Committee is yet to submit its findings and decisions.

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