‘We don’t have an economy, so what is he going to advise on?’ – Pianim on Ofori-Atta’s new appointment

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance at the historic signing of an agreement between the Government of Ghana and W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation to build Du Bois Museum Complex at The Pierre Hotel on September 20, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation)

Renowned Ghanaian economist, Kwame Pianim has described as unfortunate the appointment of former Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta as a Senior Presidential Adviser and Special Envoy for International Trade by President Akufo Addo.

Mr Ofori-Atta was relieved of his position as Finance Minister on Wednesday, February 14, and replaced with Mohammed Amin Adam.

Subsequently, the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare in a statement dated February 15, announced the new role of the former Finance Minister.

But speaking on the AM Show, Mr. Pianim who is a leading member of the NPP slammed the appointment insisting it has eroded the goodwill that came with the recent reshuffle of ministers.

“Ken Ofori-Atta going is good for the optics. But the person who led us into the financial and economic crisis that we are in, we haven’t been here before… there has never been a time where Ghana has not been able to pay its bills and we are not going to start paying them until 2025 and this is the same guy who gets us kicked out of the Eurobond market, how can he be an envoy?

“I think Nana (President Akufo-Addo) knows that the international community are not that gullible so you don’t send him there. We don’t have an economy now, so what is he going to advise on?

“Too many people are walking around the Presidency. Let’s remove them. Both governments when they come, they remove a minister and he becomes special adviser at the presidency. We don’t want that,” he stressed.

Mr. Pianim also said he was unhappy with the resignation of Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu from his role as Majority Leader in Parliament.

He insists that the Suame MP should have been left to manage Parliament to connect the MPs with the other groups in the party ahead of the 2024 elections.

“Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is an icon in Parliament. I think that managing Parliament is not easy. He has to make sure that all the bills that cabinet ministers and the president send are in line with the constitution.

“I am saddened. I think he should have been left there to manage Parliament and also lead the Parliamentary group to join forces with the presidential group of the party and then the party itself that is the chairman and his group and the leader of the party that is the flagbearer.”

Touching on the NDC flagbearer, John Mahama’s proposed 24-hour economy if voted into power in the December general election, Mr. Pianim said the policy lacks clarity.

“People are talking about the 24-hour economy but I don’t understand it. What is it? We don’t even have electricity for one shift so where are we going to get electricity for three shifts?

“We started the 24-hour economy. I was Minister of Finance and we told PwD that all the repairs should be done at night, so that traffic will move. But when they started doing that the managers were refusing to go and supervise because they didn’t have security to go around.

“So let’s think through everything carefully and say what can we do now. There is nowhere in the world that they run a 24-hour economy.”