The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has labeled as ‘regrettable’ parliament’s approval of Ken Ofori-Atta as Finance and Economic Planning Minister.
According to the Executive Director of ASEPA, Ken Thompson, the Finance Minister’s responses to critical questions posed to him during his ministerial vetting were unsatisfactory.
GhanaWeb monitored an interaction the ASEPA boss had with Citi Business, in which he questioned the move by Parliament and described it as one that was not in the best interest of the country.
“We just learnt that [Ken Ofori-Atta] has been approved especially when a number of issues raised against him featured in the committee; the responses he gave were totally dis-satisfactory.
“To think that he can give shallow and unsatisfactory answers to the questions and still get away with it is extremely troubling and disappointing to the electorate and the citizens especially to those who have had any hope in the idea of the power of Parliament and the potential it brings to our democracy and that they could serve as proper checks and balance mechanisms to the Executive,” Thompson submitted.
“I think people are gradually losing hope in it. It was extremely shocking to learn during the nominee’s vetting that the nominee had usurped the powers of the President and has unilaterally appointed as Managing Director to the Trade Fair management,” he stressed.
He continued, “Again, without parliamentary approval and usurping the powers, he was already restructuring Eurobond on behalf of the country as a nominee without approval.
“If people can do these things and usurp the powers of Parliament, appears before Parliament and still get away with it without any member of the committee voting against this nominee then you have a huge problem. This whole idea of hung Parliament potential is dead on arrival.”
Parliament on Monday, March 29 approved the president’s nomination of Ken Ofori-Atta to serve a second term as Minister of Finance. The decision was derived following a consensus after recommendations were made by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
Mr Ofori-Atta was away in the United States seeking medical attention over coronavirus complications and thus rescheduled his ministerial vetting which was earlier slated for February.
The Finance Minister during his two-day vetting on March 25 – 26, 2021 answered a wide range of questions spanning across key sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
He also faced some questions over the involvement of his firm Databank in its previous role as transaction advisers for the Agyapa Royalties deal.