Pru East Member of Parliament, Dr Kwabena Donkor has said the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta cannot be trusted to lead negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because he had said on several occasions that Ghana was not going to the Fund for support only for the President to decide to go.
In the view of Dr Donkor, the Finance Minister is most likely to drag his feet in the negotiations hence, he must resign to afford the President the opportunity to choose another person to lead the discussions with the Bretton Woods institution.
Addressing a press conference in Parliament on Thursday July 7, Dr Donkor indicated that if he fails to resign, Parliament will exercise its powers to ask him to go.
“It is in the light of this that I call on Honourable Ken Ofori-Atta, as a matter of national duty and in order to save the little honour left, that he does the right thing and tender in his resignation. He can still act as an advisor to the government in the negotiations but not as the Minister responsible for Finance,” the former Power Minister said.
He added “We have gotten to a level in our pollical development that ministers must begin to take responsibility. A Minister who categorically stated that we will never go to the IMF cannot be dragged unwillingly to IMF to lead our negotiations if we love our country.
“We need somebody who will believe in what he or she will be doing to lead the negotiations. If Ken Ofori-Atta does not resign, I believe the Parliament of Ghana must keep faith with the people of Ghana and the people of Ghana deserve better than this.
“Parliament has the power to ask him to go and Parliament must act. I am very passionate about this because Ken Ofori-Atta must resign to give the president a free hand to choose somebody to lead these delicate negotiations.”
The Government of Ghana on Friday July 1 announced that it was seeking support from the IMF.
This followed a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund, a statement by the Ministry of Information said.
Accordingly, the IMF staff team, led by Carlo Sdralevich, mission chief for Ghana, arrived in Ghana on Tuesday July 5 to begin initial discussions with the Ghanaian authorities about a possible IMF-supported programme.
Mr. Sdralevich in a statement said “On the basis of a request from the Ghanaian authorities, an IMF staff team will in the coming days kick-start discussions on a possible program to support Ghana’s homegrown economic policies. We are at an early stage in the process, given that detailed discussions are yet to take place.”
“The IMF stands ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, safeguard debt sustainability, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic.”
“We are looking forward to our engagement with the authorities in Accra,” the Fund said.