The New Statesman has picked up information which indicates that the under pressure Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Terkper, could be heading for the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in the impending ministerial reshuffle expected to be announced by President John Dramani Mahama in the coming days.
He replaces Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah, who is being moved to a different ministry, according to our sources at the presidency.
Mr Terkper is being blamed for many of the economic problems confronting the nation, including the free fall of the cedi, the lack of confidence in the economy, the ever increasing high unemployment rate, high interest rates, labour agitations and the general unfriendly business climate.
President John Dramani Mahama recently said he was under pressure from members of his party and government to dismiss Mr Terkper.
Mr Mahama’s Finance Minister has been accused of bad relationship with members of the government’s
Economic Management team, which is headed by Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, as well as many of his colleague Ministers, who Alhaji Bature, a close confidante of President Mahama, says have been accusing him of “starving them of resources to work with, thereby exposing them to public scorn and unnecessary attacks.”
In fact, the New Statesman can report that many of the technocrats working at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning are not comfortable working Mr Terkper who they have accused of ignoring them in taking vital decisions concerning the running of the economy.
The Minister for Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga, recently expressed deep concerns about the actions of Mr Terkper, explaining that he was making matters very difficult for government communicators to defend the government on matters of the economy.
Just last week, the Central Regional Communications Director of the NDC, Allotey Jacobs, called for the dismissal of the Minister he described as the ‘Judas’ of the NDC.
According to the NDC kingpin in the Central Region, the embattled Finance Minister had given all indications that he was incapable of managing the affairs of his ministry to produce the required results.
Just like Mr Jocobs, many leading members of the NDC had been insisting that Mr Terkper should be relieved on his job and replaced with either Kwabena Duffuor, former Finance and Economic Planning Minister under the late President John Evans Atta Mills, or Moses Asaga, a former deputy finance minister and current head of the National Petroleum Authority.
But the New Statesman can disclose that between the two, President Mahama prefers Mr Asaga, who is expected to be announced soon as the next Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, barring any last minute change of mind.