Business News of Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Monday assumed office as the Finance Minister, with a pledge to grow Ghana’s economy for the prosperity and well-being of the citizenry.
Mr Ofori-Atta, who brings to the Ministry more than 30 years’ experience in the Ghanaian and international financial sector, wss sworn-into office on Friday, January 27, by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
A release issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the Minister’s immediate priority was to protect the public purse, stabilise Ghana’s macro economy, spearhead anti-corruption, increase revenue and introduce policy initiatives to grow the economy for the private sector to thrive and create jobs.
“We will create wealth and improve people’s lives by ensuring economic freedom as the mainstay of the economy,” the statement quoted him as saying. “I am committed to cleaning up our public finances, managing the enormous debt that we have inherited in order to create the needed fiscal space, invest in critical infrastructure, and empower the private sector to create jobs.”
He said the legacy of the Ministry would be a professional institution with global standards in treasury and risk management to give effect to enforcing the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), the release said.
It said he intended to work hard to get the economy growing eventually at double digits through policies and strategies that would increase revenue, reduce waste, control spending and grow the economy to create jobs.
The Minister, the release said, noted that the three-year International Monetary Fund programme was needed to achieve fiscal consolidation, though it was presently in a delicate state.
“I am committed to an IMF programme, which addresses our current predicaments and will ensure that we also meet all the necessary structural benchmarks that may be suggested. As our President has stated, we now need to get Ghana working again in order to create jobs,” the release quoted him.
It said Mr Ofori-Atta gave the assurance that he would deliver with God’s guidance on the New Patriotic Party’s Manifesto pledges in spite of the daunting economic challenges.
He expressed optimism that in the President’s first budget, there would be a clear path towards fulfilling the manifesto pledges and opening economic space for the private sector to thrive, said the release.
Touching on the background of Mr. Ofori-Atta, the release said the new Minister was a Co-Founder and former Executive Chairman of the Databank Group, (a premier investment banking firm) in Ghana.
It said prior to co-founding Databank in 1990, the Minister was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Salomon Brothers on Wall Street in New York, adding that he had over the past 25-years, since he returned from New York, had business interests in Insurance, Retail Banking, Private Equity, Pharmaceuticals and Real Estate.
He went to Achimota School; received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Columbia University in New York, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management, the release said.
Mr. Ofori-Atta and 12 other Minister-designates were approved by Parliament on Friday, January 27, after going through a successful vetting process by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.