On Friday, January 13, 2023, Hon. Kenneth Ofori-Atta, the interim minister for trade and industry and minister of finance, visited the headquarters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He came as a result of the Party-Government Engagements project, which the Party leadership had launched in an effort to bridge the gap between government appointees and various party stakeholders.
The party’s national leadership, led by Chairman Stephen Ayesu Ntim, gave him a kind welcome.
In his welcoming speech, Mr. Ntim Party explained that the Party-Government Engagements were established in response to the urgent need for increased coordination between Party stakeholders and government appointees in front of the general elections of 2024.
In his introductory remarks, Hon. Ofori-Atta acknowledged that Ghana will face challenging socioeconomic conditions in 2022 as a result of soaring inflation and rising interest rates that led to a crisis in the cost of living.
However, he pointed out that the Ministry of Finance is committed to achieving macroeconomic stabilization in order to create a supportive environment for companies to flourish and to improve the standard of life for the general public.
He described the extraordinary economic achievement Ghana achieved during the first term of the Akufo-Addo administration, making it one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
The Akufo-Addo government built the socioeconomic groundwork, according to Hon. Ofori-Atta, with the intention of ushering Ghana into a new era of sustained economic development and prosperity.
He, however, observed that the devastating and lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war on the local economy have occasioned challenges for businesses and individuals alike. He assured that government is determined to get the economy back on track, and rallied the leadership of the Party to support government’s remedial interventions at reviving the economy.
He claimed that the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) deal between the government and the IMF will revitalize and stabilize the local economy.
Furthermore, he gave the Party’s leadership the assurance that the government has no plans to end the popular Free Senior High School Program, which continues to serve as a crucial social safety net for the vast majority of Ghanaians.
The General Secretary took advantage of the opportunity to raise the Finance Minister’s attention to the worries Ghanaians, particularly individual bondholders, had about the Debt Exchange Program.
The party leadership, he claimed, is still overloaded with complaints about this, and he pleaded with the Finance Minister to examine the policy critically and consider the option of exempting holders of smaller bonds, in particular retirees.
In his concluding remarks, the Hon Minister for Finance thanked the Party leadership for the warm reception, and commended them for their wise Hon. Ofori-Atta concluded his remarks by urging the Party leadership to put in place adequate guidelines to ensure a smooth conduct of its Parliamentary and Presidential primaries as that is critical to the Party’s quest to win a-third consecutive general elections to break the eight.
The National Executives of the Party, led by Mr. Stephen Ayesu Ntim, National Chairman, and Mr. Justin Kodua Frimpong, General Secretary, hosted Kenneth Ofori-Atta.
Other national executives present included Alhaji Masawudu Osman, National Third Vice Chairperson, Madam Rita Asobayire, National Second Vice Chairperson, Mr. Nana Boakye Nana B, National Organiser, Alhaji Aziz Haruna Futa, Nasara Coordinator, Dr. Antoinette Tsibu Darko, Deputy General Secretary, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, Deputy General Secretary, Mr. William Yamoah, Director for Finance.