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Economic Crisis: ‘I’m truly sorry; I feel the pain in my soul’- Ofori-Atta



Under-pressure Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has apologised to the people of Ghana for the economic hardships they are going through.

The president’s cousin told the ad hoc parliamentary committee probing seven allegations against him, in connection with which a motion of censure has been filed against him by the minority caucus; that he has always meant well for the people of Ghana ever since he became finance minister.

“Since the Akufo-Addo government came into office in 2017, everything we have sought to do was aimed at making the lives of the people better”, he testified on Friday, 18 November 2022, adding: “We have been focused on this vision to improve lives and in the first four years, our efforts were leading to a realisation of the vision”.

However, he said: “Today, I acknowledge our economy is facing difficulties and the people of Ghana are enduring hardships”.

“As the person [that] President AKufo-Addo has put in charge of this economy, I feel the pain personally, professionally and in my soul”, Mr Ofori-Atta noted.

“I see and feel the terrible impact of rising prices of goods and services on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Ghanaians, I feel the stress of running a business, but it is the strength and perseverance of the Ghanaian people that inspire me and my colleagues in government every morning”.

“That is what gives me the strength to press on and to find solutions and relief for Ghanaians to the myriad of problems that our country and the rest of the world are facing, especially since March 2020”.

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“Co-chairs, let me use this opportunity to say to the Ghanaian people what I believe, with courage, every finance minister around the world, may wish to say to their people now: ‘I am truly sorry’”, he apologised.

Before his apology though, Mr Ofori-Atta took a swipe at the minority caucus for not being thorough with their allegations, after the committee excused him from testifying to and answering questions on grounds one and three over constitutional reasons.

“Co-chairs, it is a very difficult process and according to my understanding of parliamentary history, this might be the first censure of a minister, so, it must be very grace issues that we are having to address. It’s, therefore, unfortunate that in the co-chair’s submission of the two grounds that have been struck out, it sounds to me like there was not a thorough review of the grounds, as should have been, but to bring somebody for censure, would require that these things are done with absolute thoroughness but I’m pleased with the decision that has been made”, Mr Ofori-Atta noted.

The seven grounds for the censure motion are despicable conflict of interest by benefitting from Ghana’s economic crisis, unconstitutional withdrawals from the consolidated fund to build a national cathedral, illegal payment of oil revenues to an offshore account, deliberate and dishonest misreporting of economic data to parliament, fiscal recklessness leading to the crash of the Ghana cedi, alarming incompetence and frightening ineptitude resulting in the collapse of the Ghanaian economy and gross mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy, which has brought about untold hardships.

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