- Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said although calls for him to be sacked were warranted, he had to remain firm and serve the nation
- He also said the calls are consistent with the tenets of democracy where everyone is allowed to express themselves
- He told GTV's Talking Point programme that there was nothing he could do about the calls because he served at the pleasure of the President
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has, for the first time, reacted to the calls by a large majority of parliamentarians to sack him over the economic hardship.
Asked by the host of GTV's Talking Point on Sunday, August 6, 2023, how he felt about the calls for President Nana Akufo-Addo to sack him, he said while the calls were warranted, he has a duty to serve the nation even in the most difficult times.
"It's a very difficult question for anyone to answer but...in a democracy, that is warranted. You have to give everyone the chance to really express themselves one way or the other. Those were difficult periods. It went through a period of censure and Parliament voted against it.
"But more importantly...we were in a situation where we were battered and broken but do you leave a ship at that time? And given the urgency of ensuring the IMF programme goes through so that we can build confidence, when do you make such a decision?" he quizzed.
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Some Majority MPs broke ranks from their caucus and in Parliament and demanded the immediate removal of Ken Ofori-Atta between late last year and early this year.
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The lawmakers, who came to be called "Rebel MPs" said the finance minister has been incompetent at his job and blamed him for Ghana's debilitating economic situation.
The President was forced to respond to their calls and promised that he would take a decision after the presentation of the 2023 budget and the success of the IMF programme.
While all the Minority MPs fully backed the call, they did not join the breakaway faction within the Majority side to push for Ken Ofori-Atta's removal.
I serve at the President's pleasure
On the Talking Point programme, the finance minister also said he could not have done anything about the calls to sack him because President Nana Akufo-Addo is the one to take the final decision.
"Besides you really serve at the President's pleasure. So he has to decide. So it was a period where one has to keep one's eye on the ball, work with the team at the ministry and really be resolute so that, when we successfully within five months got the staff-level agreement, we brought some confidence and some stability and then push on in record time to be also to get the funds and approval.
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"For me, it was a duty to serve and there was no running away from it," Ofori-Atta added when he spoke on the programme that also discussed Ghana's economic outlook.
Economist Joe Jackson dismisses Ofori-Atta's "economy has turned the corner" claim
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported in a separate story that economist Joe Jackson has said it was false for finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta to say Ghana's economy has turned the corner.
The Director of Operations at Dalex Finance said if Ghana's economy were a patient, it would be in the Intensive Care Unit of a health facility.
Joe Jackson's rejection of the minister's claim follows similar critical reactions to the assessment on July 31 contained in the 2023 mid-year budget review.
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