Minister for Finance Ken Ofori-Atta has said the free fall of the local currency [Cedi] is not necessarily due to fiscal factors.
He stated that a lot of factors including speculation and economic uncertainties affect the strength of the Cedi.
Responding to the allegation of recklessness made against him by the Minority when he appeared before the ad-hoc committee of Parliament on Friday, November 18, he said “The cedi performed well up to March 2022. The major factors affecting the Cedi are not necessarily fiscal factors [but] extraordinary global factors, speculations due to economic uncertainties also affect the Cedi.”
Regarding the allegation that he took money from the Contingency Fund for the National Cathedral, he denied doing that.
He told the proponents of the motion of censure for his removal that they should not confuse Contingency Vault with Contingency Fund concerning funding for the National Cathedral project.
Mr Ofori-Atta explained that funds were taken from the Contingency Vault for the cathedral and not from the Contingency Fund as is being alleged by the Minority.
The Contingency Fund and the Contingency Vault, he said, are two different things altogether which should not be confused.
“I did not withdraw funds from the Contingency Fund for National Cathedral,” he told the committee on Friday, November 18.
He added, “The withdrawals were lawfully done from the Contingency Vault and not from the Contingency Fund as alleged by the proponents.”
The committee dropped two out of the seven charges against him.
This was after the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) which was called upon by the committee to testify on Thursday did not say that the Finance Minister authorised payment of oil revenues into offshore accounts.
During proceedings on Friday, November 18, the Co-chair of the committee Dr Dominic Ayine said “…They also did not say anything to the effect that you gave the instructions concerning that payment. On account of the evidence adduced which kind of contradicted the evidence that was led by the proponent of the motion, the committee has taken the view that you will not be called to deal with this matter.”
He added “…So in essence, there are now five grounds that you will have to deal with. Those are grounds 2, that is the unconstitutional withdrawals about the nation for the national cathedral, then we have ground 5, 6 and 7 to deal with.”
Mr Ofori-Atta appeared before the committee on Friday, November 18 to answer the charges against him.
In his initial submission, he told the committee that “I am certain Ghanaians will have a more balanced view of what has led us here.”