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SONA 2018: Ofori-Atta is a national treasure – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has lauded Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, describing him as a treasure to Ghana.

“Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, is proving to be a national asset,” he told parliament when he delivered his second State of the Nation Address on Thursday, February 8.

He explained that Bloomberg described Ghana’s Stock Exchange as the best performing Stock Exchange in the world for January 2018.

According to him, the report illustrated how the Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index has gained 19% since the start of the year, in dollar terms, ahead of the Nigerian, Chinese and Brazilian Stock Markets.

“The world is taking notice of Ghana’s economic strides. Earlier, in January, the World Bank stated that Ghana’s economy would probably grow by 8.3% this year, which would make it the fastest growing economy in the world.

“For the first time in a long while, our macroeconomic fundamentals are solid, and all the critical indices are pointing in the right direction,” he added as he credited the Finance Minister for the gains.

The Minority, however, holds a different view of the Finance Minister.

Bolga Central MP Isaac Adongo had earlier described Mr Ofori-Atta as the “most dangerous” and “riskiest” Finance Minister Ghana has ever had.

According to the opposition lawmaker, President Nana Akufo-Addo must immediately get rid of Mr Ofori-Atta before he plunges the country into the abyss.

A probe by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) into the matter, did not make any conclusive adverse findings against Mr Ofori-Atta as far as the Minority’s allegation of conflict of interest vis-à-vis the issuance of the bond was concerned.

However, Mr Adongo stated “Minister of Finance came to lie to parliament under oath that, indeed, nothing went wrong. Today, it’s been found out that he lied to us because he breached the … Financial Management Act because the regulations and rules and guidelines of the Bank of Ghana were sidestepped and CHRAJ says that in actual fact, the Minister of Finance ought to have brought the terms and conditions of the loan before parliament”.

According to Mr Adongo, Mr Ofori-Atta “has gone ahead, in the whole of 2017, sole-sourcing loans … amounting to about GHS21.5 billion … Only in November last year, GHS5.5 billion a similar transaction took place under Ken Ofori-Atta. In October last year, GHS2.87 billion of a similar transaction took place under Ken Ofori-Atta. In September last year, GHS3 billion of a similar transaction took place under Ken Ofori-Atta. This is, indeed, the most dangerous and the most reckless and the riskiest Finance Minister that has visited the people of Ghana and the earlier he gets removed, the better it is for our financial market”.

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