Following the painful and poorly implemented Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) by this government, Pensioners were forced to picket at the Finance Ministry several times to demand payment of their matured coupons and principal investment in government bonds.

The scenes of agony and frustrations among the fragile Pensioners to get back their hard monies were unsightly and unbefitting of Ghana, the Black Star of Africa!

Although the picketing of the fSHS Food Suppliers has been, at this time, at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the cry of the victims is that the National Food Buffer Stock Company: (NAFCO) has owed them to the tune of GHC 270 million for almost two years.

What is also highly characteristic of this government is that the Finance Ministry under the leadership of Ken Ofori-Atta is known for accumulating arrears to various entities in the country

For instance, the MPs have openly complained about their MPs' common funds in arrears. Additionally, the NHIS outfit is also in arrears of over GHC 471 million to their healthcare providers and many other institutions including owing the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) of $1.73 billion.

The IPPs (involving all nine power plants) had to threaten the publicly owned Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) with a shutdown if the ECG did not pay 30% of the $1.73 billion debt owed them now.

The arrears are because of the inability of the Finance Ministry to release the needed funds on time, as he is required by law to do. As part of the IMF's prior actions, the Ken Ofori-Atta-led team wanted to restructure the over $1 billion owed the IPPs by the ECG and the IPPs were resolute and rejected the DDEP offer from the Finance Minister.

The economic woes of our country are a result of the borrowing spree by Ken Ofori-Atta and non-payment of government debts, leading to the poorly negotiated IMP deal now and continuous picketing of Pensioners and fSHS Food Suppliers.

The continuous stay of Ken Ofori-Atta in office despite the agitation of the majority of NPP MPs and the NDC side of Parliament for President Akufo-Addo to sack his Finance Minister is baffling indeed. President Akufo-Addo hears nothing and does nothing!

Until Ken Ofori-Atta is asked to step aside, some questions are worthy of asking:

1. Is the poorly performing Ken Ofori-Atta the only best-suited person for the Finance Minister position under the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led government and no NPP finance person can replace him?

2. What is the Finance Minister doing with the taxpayers’ money he has been collecting monthly and not releasing funds on time to settle government debts to various institutions?

3. When will President Akufo-Addo listen to his own NPP MPs and all well-meaning Ghanaians to ask Ken Ofori-Atta to vacate his post after approval of the IMF deal?

4. Do we expect to see meaningful change if the old Ken Ofori-Atta is still in the ‘bottle’ of the newly approved IMF deal, which already advanced about $600 million to the Central Bank of Ghana?

5. How would the fSHS program function properly if critical stakeholders like the Food Suppliers are not paid on time?

It was expected that after the IMF Executive Board approved the $3 Billion Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Ghana, it was going to be better economically. However, that seems not to be the case now.

It is crucially important that the Minority in Parliament continue to keep eagle eyes on the Finance Minister’s actions now so that Ken Ofori-Atta does not pile up reckless debts and delay payments of such debts for the next government, and generations unborn to struggle to pay after he and this NPP government have left the scene.

The author, Dr John-Baptist Naah

I can envisage that the regular scenes of picketing by the Pensioners and the Food Suppliers may be extended to other Organizations or individuals if the trend of non-settlement of financial obligations continues unabated.  Ghanaians should not wait until it gets to your outfit before you begin to express your concerns.

This Finance Minister appears to be a disaster in the management of our meager financial resources and he needs to be reshuffled by the President. The Finance Minister is still sleeping on his job and needs to wake up!

The author, Dr John-Baptist Naah, is a Ghanaian researcher and writer.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.