Ofori-Atta says “I’m truly sorry” for economic hardship

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, has apologised to the citizenry for the current economic hardship facing the country.

“Co-Chairs, let me use this opportunity to say to Ghanaians what I believe every Finance Minister around the world may like to say to their people now – ‘I am truly sorry’,” Mr Ofori-Atta said on Friday before the Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure at Parliament House in Accra.

“When we set out so purposely between 2017 and the early part 2020, we never imagined that a global pandemic such as COVID with its prolonged economic fall will inflict such pain and suffering upon the Ghanaian people,” he said.

The Parliamentary Ad-hoc Committee on Censure was set-up by the Speaker to probe the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Caucus’ Motion calling for a vote of censure against the Finance Minister for alleged mismanagement of the economy.

Censure motion: ‘We have reputations’ – KT Hammond peeved by ‘atrocious’ reportage from Day 1 of probe

Mr Ofori-Atta said the shocks to the nation’s system had been hard and the impact on livelihood of Ghanaians severe.

“But we have not been resting on our oars, we continue to work to keep the lights on, to avoid the queues at our filling stations as in other countries, our classrooms are full, our hospitals and dispensaries have been stocked up with drugs,” he said.

The Finance Minister said since the Akufo-Addo government came into office in 2017, everything they had sought to do was aimed at making the lives of the people better.

He said they had been focused on that vision to improve lives and that in the first four years, those efforts were leading to the realisation of the vision.

“Today, I acknowledge our economy is facing difficulties and the people of Ghana are enduring hardships,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

“As the person President Akufo-Addo has put in charge of the economy, I feel the pain personally, professionally, and in my soul.

“I see and feel the terrible impact of the rising prices of goods and services on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Ghanaians.

“I feel the stress of running a business. But, it is the strength and perseverance of the Ghanaian people that inspire me and my colleagues in government every morning to press on.

“That is what gives me the strength to press on to find solutions and relief for Ghanaians to the myriad of problems that our country and the rest of the world are facing, especially, since March 2020,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

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