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Ghana minister ‘sorry’ for financial disaster, fends off criticism | Enterprise and Economic system Information

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Finance minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta confronted an enquiry from lawmakers amid Ghana’s worst financial disaster in a technology.

Ghana’s finance minister stated on Friday that he was “really sorry” for the nation’s financial hardship however defended himself in opposition to accusations that he’s unfit for the job.

Minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta confronted an inquiry from lawmakers for his monetary administration, as the federal government got here below rising stress and President Nana Akufo-Addo confronted rising criticism for what has turn out to be Ghana’s worst financial disaster in a technology.

In the midst of the inquiry and disaster, the federal government has additionally been negotiating as much as $3bn in credit score from the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF) to assist shore up public funds.

A high cocoa and gold producer, Ghana additionally has oil and fuel reserves, however its debt service funds are excessive and like the remainder of the continent it has been hit laborious by fallout from the worldwide pandemic and the Ukraine struggle.

The Ghanaian cedi has plummeted greater than 40 p.c this yr, straining importers of each uncooked and processed supplies. Shopper inflation hit a 21-year excessive of 40.4 p.c in October on the again of hovering import prices.

In opposition to this backdrop, Ofori-Atta has confronted censure with lawmakers from each main political events calling for his removing from workplace. Final week, parliament arrange a committee to analyze opposition allegations that he has been benefitting from Ghana’s financial woes by way of unlawful funds and unethical contracts, amongst different costs.

In his first public feedback on the matter, the embattled minister stated he was involved concerning the West African nation’s woes, however added that the accusations had been unfounded.

“I acknowledge our financial system is going through difficulties and the individuals of Ghana are enduring hardships,” he stated.

“Because the individual President Akufo-Addo has put answerable for this financial system, I really feel the ache personally, professionally, and in my soul.”

He stated that by the tip of the listening to, the “unfounded doubts about my motives, my competence and my character would have been dispelled”.

He additionally denied claims that he had misreported financial knowledge to parliament and that his insurance policies had been responsible for the cedi’s steep decline. “The concept the depreciation of the cedi is a results of fiscal threat and recklessness shouldn’t be supported by the obtainable info,” stated Ofori-Atta.

The parliamentary committee will probe the allegations in opposition to the minister earlier than deciding to current a movement of censure to the parliament, which is equally cut up between the governing NPP and the opposition NDC celebration. The president has the ultimate phrase on whether or not to dismiss the minister.

Earlier this week, Akufo-Addo fired the federal government’s junior finance minister, Charles Adu Boahen, over corruption allegations after he appeared in an expose. Earlier this month, protesters additionally referred to as for the president’s resignation amid spiralling meals and gas prices.

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