Parliament approves Ofori-Atta as Minister of Finance
Parliament on Monday approved in Accra, by consensus, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the immediate past Minister of Finance, to serve again as Finance Minister.
The House voted a resounding aye to approve the nominee, a financial analyst and international banker, who turns 62 on November 7, this year.
The Finance Minister Designate, a US trained financial analyst, had holdings and director positions in banks in several African countries including; Gambia, Rwanda, Liberia; and has won several awards, including; the Marketing Man of the Year Award for 1996 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana.
Mr Ofori-Atta, who returned recently from the United States of America for medical treatment was vetted by the Appointments Committee last week Thursday and Friday, and recommended his nomination to be approved by consensus.
He is the last substantive minister of President Akufo-Addo to be approved by Parliament, and will soon be sworn-in by the President to assume his position.
Mr Ofori Atta, served in the first term of the Akufo-Addo led Government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and was nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the same finance portfolio at the beginning of his second term office in government.
The nominee however, who represented the President at the Ministry of Finance before his nomination to hold the Finance portfolio again, had to travel to America to seek medical treatment for COVID-19 related health issues, and had his vetting by the Appointments Committee deferred.
In his absence, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, was appointed by the President Akufo-Addo, to act as Caretaker Finance Minister, who also presented the 2021 Budget of the Government of Ghana to the nation through parliament.
Presenting the recommendation to Parliament’s plenary to approve him, Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh-Dompreh informed that the House responded to a number of questions including; the justification of the re-submission of the Agyapa Transaction to Parliament, status of Ghana’s current debt amount of money spent on Ghana’s financial sector clean-up and public sector wage negotiations.
Others were; the funding for GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares Obaatanpa Programme, challenges in the implementation of the Revenue Capping Policy, Improving Value for money Assessment Regime of the Country, and alleged conflict of interest in the Agyapa Deal, among other issues.
“The nominee answered a number of questions ranging from the justification for the re-submission of the Agyapa transaction to Parliament, public sector wages negotiations, the rationale for the proposed tax hikes by the government and the management and use of the petroleum revenue,” Mr Annoh-Dompreh said.
He added: “The committee by consensus recommends to the house to approve the nomination of Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta for appointment as Minister responsible for Finance.
The Appointments Committee of Parliament concluded in its report: “The Committee, after deliberations on the nominations of the President for Ministerial Appointments and in accordance with Article 256 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 172 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, recommends for the approval of the House, the nomination of Mr KEN OFORI-ATTA for appointment as Minister responsible for Finance.”