An economist, Professor Godfred Bokpin, has called on the President, Akufo-Addo, to heed to the calls of the general public to downsize his government and sack the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
According to him, the President has to sacrifice his loyalty to his appointees for the common good of the country.
He noted that keeping the Finance Minister at post is counter-productive to the government’s fight to stabilize the fast depreciating cedi and the ailing economy as Ken Ofori-Atta’s leadership has been discounted by both external and internal investors.
He added that the Finance Ministry’s sit-and-wait posture with regards to the IMF programme without putting in place any measures to stall the cedi depreciation as well as other fiscal problems is enough proof that the Finance Minister has overstayed his welcome.
“Sometimes it matters that you sacrifice somebody so close because if the President will be mindful of what is happening even across the investor base home and abroad, you could see that they’re already discounting the leadership of the Finance Minister.
“So part of leadership is to pick that right signal where you will say that I’ve gotten to the stage where I need to trade-off loyalty, I need to trade-off personal interest for the common good. If this is what will do the trick, why not? Because it’s done everywhere. It’s done in times like these. And that will just be the starting point.
“What we are asking for is actually beyond just asking the Finance Minister to go. Ghana has gotten to the stage where an IMF supported programme is not enough and all that we’re doing now is just to wait for what will happen from the IMF negotiation.
“Come on, the IMF is not here to govern this country, so there are necessary governance reforms that we need to initiate and we must do that regardless of whether an IMF programme is in place or not because reforms are more effective when they’re bundled together and reinforce each other,” he said on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday.
Professor Bokpin added that the Akufo-Addo administration has no moral right to demand haircuts on investment returns from investors and the general public when it has failed to take action in the same regard.
He noted that downsizing government will save the country lots of resources which can then be injected back into the economy to build confidence.
“They have no moral right to ask Ghanaians to take a haircut, or investors to take a haircut when they have kept their hair on. It makes no sense. And we can do the permutations and say that look, we know Cote D’Ivoire took a decision to reduce the number of Ministers from 41 to 32, what is so special about Ghana?
“We can do that and free our space rather than loading the haircuts on ordinary people who perhaps did not contribute to the mess. That’s the point that we’re talking about. Look, and data exists to suggest that the size of government in Ghana is negatively affecting growth. That’s very clear.
“So some level of restructuring, and downsizing the government, and looking at it also across state owned enterprises. A lean government is the best response when you don’t have fiscal space,” he said.
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