Who Is Best Finance Minister? – Terkper, Duffuor Or Asaga
Speculations of an impending Cabinet reshuffle in view of the challenges facing the economy have put pressure on the President to act.
One ministry that has been mentioned for change is the Finance and Economic Planning Ministry.
The current Minister, Mr Seth Terkper, is being blamed for many of the problems such as the free fall of the cedi, lack of confidence in the economy, high unemployment, high interest rates, labour agitations and general unfriendly business climate.
President John Dramani Mahama told the whole world recently that he was under pressure to dismiss Mr Terkper, but added that he has confidence in the Finance Minister.
The Finder’s sources say some leading members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) have intensified the pressure for Mr Terkper to be dismissed and replaced with former Finance and Economic Planning Minister under President J.E.A. Mills, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, or Moses Asaga, the current head of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).
This presents President Mahama with a major test to either stick to Mr Terkper or eat humble pie and fire him.
The question economic watchers are asking is whether the reshuffle of the Finance and Economic Planning Minister is the solution to the challenges confronting the economy.
According to the economic watchers, financial indiscipline and weak fundamentals account for the current situation.
Under President Mills, Dr Duffuor was Finance and Economic Planning Minister and Mr Terkper was his deputy.
Their achievements include reducing inflation to single digit and maintaining it for over 36 months, as well as reducing interest rates.
Their era also recorded some challenges such the over GH₵8 billion over-expenditure in 2012, payment of wrongful judgement debts, numerous corruption allegations, including the rot at SADA, GYEEDA, Subah.
During Mr Terkper’s stewardship, the free fall of the cedi deepened; inflation is now in double digits and companies say the already high cost of doing business in the country has worsened.
The question most Ghanaians are asking is whether the solution to the current economic challenges lies with changing the Finance and Economic Planning Minister or a lack of innovative ideas and a thorough understanding of the national and global economic situation by the government’s economic management team, led by the Vice-President.
The economic forum proposed by the government is one of the means of addressing the current challenges facing the nation, provided it will be devoid of partisanship and the outcome implemented to the letter.
Over the last three decades, several economic fora were held by various governments, but the outcomes were not implemented to benefit the country as expected due to the partisan nature of the discussions.