Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has said Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta is struggling to do his work as Finance Minister.
According to him, for the first time in more than three decades, the minister has far more access to and control of liquid public funds than any previous minister, but Mr Ofori-Atta is struggling to balance his book.
His comments come after the Finance Minister had presented the government’s budget statement for the 2018 fiscal year.
“In 2018, the Ministry will work with GETFund to set up this education fund to enable Ghanaians make voluntary contributions to support education,” Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told parliament when he delivered the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy Statement to parliament on the theme: “Putting Ghana Back to Work”.
But commenting on his Facebook page, Dr Spio-Garbrah said: “Since the GETFund law was put in place in Year 2000 based on my initiatives and with the help of others, especially Dr Ibn Chambas, all governments have been very happy simply to receive the automatic 2 and a 1/2 % of VAT receipts which finances the GETFund. Governments have been blithely oblivious of hundreds of other sources of funding— of which individual contributions are only one source— which could have grown the GETFund to more than USD 1 billion per year, instead of something below USD 250 million a year. In any case, one of the earliest acts of NPP in 2017, was to pass a law this year, capping the receipts that all statutory funds should receive—Road Fund, Tourism Fund, GETFund, DACF, etc—to only 25% of Their lawful 100% entitlement.
“So this Finance Minister, for the first time in more than Three decades, has far more access to and control of liquid public funds than any previous Minister, in addition to the largest single bond borrowing in Africa’s history, yet he is struggling to balance his books and has GHC 3 billion revenue short fall. NPP truly has boys and girls and not Men and women!”