ACCRA, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Ghana’s embattled finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta plans to present his 2023 budget statement this month, a ruling party official said on Friday, despite demands by ruling party and opposition figures that he resign.
Ofori-Atta has come under fire as Ghana suffers its worst economic crisis in a generation, with inflation over 40% and its cedi currency at all-time lows.
The economic hardship has caused protests and forced Ghana to return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance despite repeated pledges not to.
Parliament on Thursday began debating a motion to dismiss Ofori-Atta introduced by the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) party, which accuses him of benefiting from Ghana’s economic woes through illegal payments and unethical contracts.
Instead of moving to a vote, parliament created an eight-person committee to examine the claims and submit a report within seven working days.
Ofori-Atta has not responded to the accusations against him.
He is expected to present the budget statement to parliament on Nov. 24, according to a parliamentary agenda read out by Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, deputy majority leader from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Members of the ruling party have also called for President Nana Akufo-Addo to dismiss Ofori-Atta, although they say their reasons are different from the NDC party’s.
They accuse the finance minister of economic mismanagement, but not corruption, and say he must leave to “restore hope in the financial sector”. He has not responded to the criticism.
A coalition of ruling party MPs last month agreed to suspend its demands for Ofori-Atta’s removal until after a support package is negotiated with the IMF. Ghana has said it hopes to reach a deal by the end of the year.
Writing by Nellie Peyton;
Editing by James Macharia Chege
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.