Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has debunked assertions that the nation is Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), saying rather that the economic mismanagement by the previous administration is behind the country.

According to him, the economy is stronger today than it was four years ago, and will continue to grow stronger and stronger with four more years to do more for the people of Ghana.

Presenting the 2021 First Quarter Budget Estimates, Mr. Ofor-Atta said “we must be careful as a nation to reject those who return from the Promised Land, with a bad report to subvert the spirit of our people and to reject leaders who would take us back to Egypt.”

He said in the nation’s quest to stabilize the economy, the Akufo-Addo led administration have also lowered the rate of debt accumulation, re-profiled the debt, and, implemented a number of structural reforms in a transparent manner for an efficient and effective management of public debt.

Continuing, the Finance Minister, said leadership of any nation succeeds or fails on the strength or weakness of how the economy is managed.

According to him, a leader who cannot run the economy is a leader who can never be trusted to deliver.

Mr. Ofor-Atta said “leadership is about the economy and the character of the leader. It is about knowing how to grasp the problems, the expertise to find solutions, the courage to take bold decisions, the conviction to stay the course, the competence to get it fixed, the compassion to cushion the impact on the people, and the vision to create new and transforming opportunities for the people out of the situation.”

He pointed out further that “I recall how in 2014, ‘according to a Bloomberg annual table’, the cedi was the worst performing currency in the entire world, only managing to perform better than the war-torn Ukraine’s Hryvnia. Indeed, in dollar terms, the former President [John Mahama] took an economy that was $64 billion in 2013 and shrunk it down to $55 billion in 2016. This means that after four years in office, the Mahama administration managed to achieve an unenviable record of reducing the Ghanaian Economy by nearly $10 billion. These, Mr. Speaker, are the facts.”

Meanwhile, the government is seeking Parliament’s approval to spend ¢27.4 billion for the first quarter of 2021.