The Minority Leader in Parliament, Honorable Cassiel Ato Forson has indicated that the defence of the Bank of Ghana by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has done more harm than good to the central bank and deepened its credibility crisis.
In a statement released on Monday 18 September, 2023 by the Member of Parliament of Ajumako Enyan Esiam Constituency, Dr. Ato Forson chastised the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Ata for peddling falsehood that the central bank had grown assets between 2016 and 2022.
He noted that the claim by the Finance Minister that the central bank assets increased between 2016 and 2022 was mainly a result of the illegal printing of money to support the government budget which has led to the current economic woes of the country.
‘From the second paragraph, the Minister erroneously used nominal figures to argue that the Bank of Ghana had grown its assets phenomenally between 2016 and 2022.
If the Minister describes a 2.4-fold increase from GHS53 billion in 2016 to GHS125.97 billion in 2022 as phenomenal, how would he describe the increase in Bank of Ghana’s assets by 8.2-fold during the period of the NDC government (2009-2016) when the same assets grew from GHS6.45 billion as at end-2008 to GHS53 billion as at end-2016?”Ato Forson
According to Dr Ato Forson, the claim by the Finance Minister that Ghana’s GDP had more than doubled in value from GH219.6 billion in 2016 to GHS 610.2billion in 2022 is misleading as the Finance Minister failed to express that in real terms but rather nominal values.
“On the watch of this Minister, real GDP growth slowed between 2018 and 2020 and only recovered slightly in 2021 due mainly to revenues from the three oil fields they inherited as well as the massive COVID-19 revenue inflows, and not due to any special expertise of the Minister. Again, the Minister’s management of the economy worsened in 2022 and it is projected to further deteriorate at the end of 2023 with a growth projection of 1.5%”Ato Forson
The Minority Leader also alleged that data from the Ministry of Finance shows that revenue- to-GDP under the watch of the Finance Minister has not performed well as he claimed.
He noted that in 2015 aside from the challenges the erstwhile Mahama administration encountered revenue to GDP was 13.2% while under the watch of the current Finance Minister revenue to GDP is just 12.1% in 2022 even though it has had access to many resources including two additional oil wells.
Ato Forson Accuses NPP Of Mismanaging Ghana’s Economy
The Minority Leader also stressed that the economy that the NDC and John Mahama administration bequeathed to President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s administration was far better than what Ghana has today.
He noted that the NPP administration inherited a public debt that was sustainable at 56% of GDP but it has increased public debt to 103% of GDP with very little to show.
“The NDC left behind a robust economy with very strong buffers. The Mahama government left behind the Sinking Fund, Stabilization Fund, Ghana Infrastructure Investment Bank (GIIF), and Ghana EXIM Bank as well as a robust tax revenue and oil revenue from three oil fields which the NPP used to kickstart their administration. Yet they have very little to show and have collapsed the economy on their watch”.Ato Forson
Dr. Ato Forson cautioned the Minister of Finance to carry his mess and his shame and not bring the NDC into matters that border on his greed, state capture for his family and friends as well as his monumental failure in public office.
He also indicated that the NDC under John Mahama did better than the NPP and pledged that the next NDC administration will do better when the good people of Ghana elect John Mahama and the NDC to govern from January 2025.
The Finance Minister in article on Thursday 14 September, 2023 called for support for the construction of a befitting new office for Bank of Ghana. His article follows a series of calls by the Minority for the resignation of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for allegedly mismanaging the Central Bank.