Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu
Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin on Thursday evening confirmed that Majority Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame will present the budget statement of the government of Ghana for 2021.

The presentation of the budget is normally done by the Finance Minister on the authority of the President.

This year, however the shift had become necessary because of the absence of the Finance Minister Designate, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta out of the country.

Mr Ofori-Atta is receiving treatment overseas from COVID-19 health issues.

Mr Ofori-Atta held the same finance portfolio in the first term of the Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government that ran from January 7, 2017 to January 6, 2021.

President Akufo-Addo nominated Mr Ofori-Atta for the same ministerial position at the beginning of his second term, which began on January 7, 2021.

Since the departure of the Finance Minister, there were speculations as to whether Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, a former Deputy Governor of Ghana’s Central Bank, the Bank of Ghana; or Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister for Trade and Industry would stand in for the recuperating Finance Minister currently abroad.

Others said the best person to stand in for the Finance Minister was Majority Leader, who was also Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.

Observers suggested that either of the two presenting the budget would amount to tacit and veiled endorsement by the executive on who would take over from President Akufo-Addo when his term of office expires in 2025.

The speculations were put to rest by the letter from President Nana Akufo-Addo to Speaker Bagbin, which was read to the House on Thursday evening.

The communication read: “Pursuant to Order 140, rules 2 and 3 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, I have assigned temporary responsibility for the Ministry of Finance to Minister for Parliament Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, MP for Suame”.

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