North Tongu MP Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa rejoiced on Saturday as Ghana’s Heritage Fund remained untouched amid the Covid-19 fight.

In a post on Facebook, the outspoken legislator wrote: “a significant victory for the hands off Ghana Heritage Fund movement. Congratulations to all those who made their voices heard.”

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta asked MPs on Monday to amend portions of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), to allow the government to access the Heritage Fund to help in the fight against the new coronavirus pandemic.

Ken Ofori Atta
Ken Ofori-Atta

But his request faced criticisms from some MPs and a section of the public.

Mr. Ablakwa, for instance, asked President Nana Akufo-Addo to cut cost by reducing his government’s size and generate revenue from the cash.

“Last night, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was compelled to beat a fast retreat from his earlier intentions to deplete the Ghana Heritage Fund which he communicated to Parliament when he addressed the House on Monday and as can be verified from pages 15 and 16 of his address,” Ablakwa wrote.

He added: “In his remarks last night after securing $200million for the coronavirus fight from the Stabilisation Fund which was established in 2011, the Finance Minister is now calling for a national debate to determine the way forward.”

Read his full post below

Obviously, there have been a lot of dramatic events in Parliament this week which seem to reach a crescendo this evening.

I shall reflect on a number of these episodes later. For now, it is imperative that I point out particularly for the benefit of all those who supported the resistance to protect the Ghana Heritage Fund that there is some good news.

Last night, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was compelled to beat a fast retreat from his earlier intentions to deplete the Ghana Heritage Fund which he communicated to Parliament when he addressed the House on Monday and as can be verified from pages 15 and 16 of his address.

In his remarks last night after securing $200million for the coronavirus fight from the Stabilisation Fund which was established in 2011, the Finance Minister is now calling for a national debate to determine the way forward.

A significant victory for the hands off Ghana Heritage Fund movement. Congratulations to all those who made their voices heard.

As I reiterated on the floor after the Minister’s statement, we are all united and determined to fight COVID-19 irrespective of our political differences, however, we cannot be united in denying the future generation their due especially when we are leaving them with so much debt. I maintain that our solution lies in cutting down expenditure and eliminating waste to free resources to combat the pandemic. At least that should be our first consideration before setting our eyes on our children’s inheritance. I added that we also need to know exactly how much our national response plan costs and the breakdown of same. For all we may know, the US$100million from the World Bank, the US$200million from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund and the impressive donations from corporate Ghana and patriotic individuals are probably enough to mount a successful preparedness strategy and social mitigation programme.

I sincerely hope and pray that we develop a costed plan which would be acceptable to most experts before proceeding to dissipate every available fund. As happens in every transparent and accountable administration, It should be plan before money not money before a plan.

May we find the courage to do what is right and may the Good Lord preserve our lives.