Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyam Essiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, has described Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta as a reckless driver who has driven the Ghanaian economy into a ditch.
Ato Forson has also reiterated his call for the embattled minister to be removed and the economy handed to a more competent driver to steer the economic ship to a safe destination.
What Ato Forson said
“Every reckless driver is referred to as ‘driver banza’ in my local parlance … if you are in a car with such a driver, people get angry and demand that he descends so that another person takes control of the car and drive it to safety.
“Where we have gotten to, the finance minister is a reckless driver, he has taken this country to a point of no return, he has driven this country into a ditch.
“He is a reckless driver and he has to step aside. Let’s give this country to a competent hand to drive this country to safety,” the former deputy finance minister submitted on the January 16, 2023 edition of Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen.
Ofori-Atta under pressure to leave
Ofori-Atta had a challenging 2022 with the Minority Caucus demanding his resignation over the economic downturn.
Internally, a group of 80 plus New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs publicly demanded his resignation over a similar demand, standing down after a presidential intervention.
A deal for him to present the 2023 budget and see out appropriation as well as to complete initial engagement with the IMF has elapsed, with the Majority Caucus hinting that they would soon approach the president to redeem a promise to act on Ofori-Atta.
Ghana had a torrid 2022 amid an economic crisis that forced the government to seek an International Monetary Fund (IMF) facility at a time when the cedi was rapidly depreciating, inflation was galloping, and the government was faced with multiple downgrades by rating agencies.
The government has repeatedly blamed the crisis partly on the aftershocks of the COVID pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
It has promised to turn around the economic fortunes of the country after sealing a staff-level agreement with the IMF late last year, with hopes that funds from the US$3 billion facility will be released early this year.
The government is hamstrung by hurdles as it attempts to secure a deal with its Domestic Debt Exchange programme.
Organized labour successfully fought off plans to include pensions in the DDE; now individual bondholders are also rejecting plans to include them.