The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, will today face Parliament’s Appointment committee to be vetted.
Mr Ofori-Atta’s vetting was originally scheduled for February 16, 2021, but had to be rescheduled to March 8 due to ill health following post-COVID-19 recovery complications.
The March 8 date also had to be rescheduled again after the Finance and Economic Planning Minister-designate had to spend some more time in the USA where he was receiving medical attention.
He spent about 30 days at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, where he received specialised treatment for post COVID-19 complications.
His absence saw the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, presenting the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
Mr Ofori-Atta, during a virtual post-budget forum, expressed gratitude to Ghanaians for an improving health condition, attributing his recovery to the grace of God and continuous prayers from Ghanaians.
Today’s vetting is expected to be dominated by issues relating to the financial sector clean-up which took place under his watch.
The financial sector clean-up, which led to the collapse of some insolvent financial institutions, cost the taxpayer GH¢21 billion.
The clean-up was said to be necessary because of mismanagement at those financial institutions, which led to depositors’ funds being locked up with no hope of such funds ever being accessed.
The Agyapa Gold Royalties deal is also expected to dominate his vetting. The Agyapa Royalties was a gold royalty company to be established by the government with the purpose of offering financing to gold mining companies that wanted to develop new mining projects in exchange for royalties or revenue once the mines started producing gold.
The rational for the transaction was to create and launch Africa’s first gold royalty company and showcase Ghana as the premier destination for gold assets and resource mining, whilst raising non debt funding for capital investment.
This was seen as a sure way to attract investment into the sector, increase exploration activity, provide financing to owners of mining concessions looking for equity type of financing to develop their mines and bring them to production as well as ensure rural development.
Income from this transaction was expected to be used in four main areas, which are health, education, road infrastructure and housing.
Mining communities were to be prioritized to benefit from these projects.
Part of the proceeds were also to go into supporting the new National Development Bank as well as the Ghana Infrastructure and Investment Fund.
When listed, Government of Ghana, through the Mineral Income Investment Fund (MIIF), would be the majority shareholder with at least 51 per cent of the shares.