Minister of Finance-nominee, Ken Ofori-Atta who is currently in the United States of America for medical treatment after post-COVID-19 complications says his health condition is improving.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said the mercies of God have kept him alive.
Speaking in a virtual post-budget forum organized by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in his usual element, Mr. Ofori-Atta said, “For me personally, I guess I would want to reiterate how merciful the Lord has been to me and also grateful for the prayer support from my family. The challenge is my post-COVID-19 symptoms. It is in the Bible that says Peter, therefore, was kept in prison, but prayer was made without ceasing for the church and for him and I have felt how God miraculously delivered Peter from prison because the saints prayed for him”.
He added that “The doctors here have been fantastic and very dedicated, but even they acknowledge that there must be someone upstairs who is watching over me because the numbers were so critical. So thank you indeed for your earnest prayers which have saved me.”
In the absence of the Finance Minister-designate, President Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo appointed the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu to present the 2021 Budget and Economic Policy to Parliament on his behalf on Friday, March 12.
Among other things, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said the government lost revenues totaling GHC13.6billion due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The MP for Suame said “IMF data indicate that the global economy is expected to grow at 5.5%. This reflects an expected positive turnaround. Output gaps are not expected to close until after 2022. Inflation is expected to remain subdued for 2021 and 2022.”
“Overall budget deficit on a cash basis was 11.4% of GDP. The primary balance recorded a deficit of 5.3% of GDP…Annual growth of outstanding credit to the private sector moderated from 9.39% in December 2019, to 0.17% in December 2020.
“This unprecedented crisis, for which we had no pre-existing guidelines, triggered a sudden shortfall in government revenues amounting to GHC13.6billion and unexpected; unavoidable rise in expenditures of GHC11.7billion.”
Mr. Mensah-Bonsu added that the government’s Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprise Support (CARES) initiative is a singular and remarkable financial investment in the Ghanaian economy by a sitting government.
He said the Obaatanpa programme in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is meant to cushion Ghanaians and businesses against the adverse economic effects of the virus.
According to him, the GH¢100 billion investment into the Ghanaian economy is meant to revitalize the economy that has been undone by the global pandemic and put it back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“Mr. Speaker, pursuing the GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES “Obaatan pa” programme allows us to address the challenges and also seize the opportunities created by COVID-19 for socio-economic transformation. This programme will foster closer collaboration with the private sector, labor, faith-based organizations, and development partners to complement efforts in the revitalization and growth agenda.
Touching on the 2021 budget in the virtual ceremony, Mr. Ofori-Atta said, it will aid the country’s recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“…Globally, countries are looking at preserving lives and livelihoods and stimulating the economy for growth amidst this pandemic and I think we [Ghana] are not doing any less.”
By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Originalfmonline.com | Ghana