I’ve not been reckless, motion to remove me weightless – Ofori-Atta

Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta says the allegations leveled against him by the Minority Caucus in Parliament for his dismissal has no weight behind it.

He told the ad hoc committee hearing the censure motion on Friday November 18 that the proponents’ allegations do not have “weight for censure.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said each of the allegations leveled against him were false and went on to debunk each of them.

On the allegation of deliberate misreporting of economic data to Parliament, he said it is completely not true.

“Since I took office in 2017, I have served the country with integrity and honesty.
“Under my leadership at the Ministry of Finance, there have been significant improvements in the accurate reporting of public finances.

“Today, under President Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians are enjoying greater accountability and transparency in the management of the public purse than any other period under the Fourth Republic.”

He said since 2017, the government has complied with the reporting provisions in the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921), including Budget Implementation report, Fiscal Reports, Public Debt Report, Petroleum Revenue Management Reports, ESLA report, etc.

On the issue of not including the financial sector clean up cost and the energy sector IPP payments in the deficit, the Finance Minister said contrary to the position of others, they were clearly stated.

“I want to emphasize, with the Budget document as evidence, that these payments were reflected in the fiscal framework.”
“Energy sector IPP payments were treated as “amortisation” and the non-cash financial sector clean-up payments were reflected in the “memo item” (Refer to Appendix 2A of the Fiscal Tables in the relevant Annual Budget),” the minister said.

Ghanaians will recall that in support of data presented by the Ministry of Finance, in May 2020, Dr Albert Touna Mama, the then country representative of the IMF, came on Joy FM’s News File Programme to state that there was no misrepresentation of data by the government as was being alleged. Dr Touna Mama said government was not the one that presented the figures that the IMF published in its statements.

He explained that the difference in figures was as a result of a difference in the methodology of calculation, adding that the figure in fiscal deficit in their statement was a figure they generated themselves from the data government presented to them, having added financial and energy sector payments in line with their methodology, which is different from government’s methodology.