“We can’t pretend that the coronavirus pandemic has not occurred” –Finance minister tells #FixTheCountry protestors
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has downplayed assertions that the Akufo-Addo administration’s recent touting of economic ambition and progress is in response to the #FixTheCountry protests.
At a press conference Mr. Ofori-Atta said “This is not a government working in reflex,”
His press conference also comes after Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia released a progress report of 70 items in response to the #FixTheCountry protests on social media which started a week ago.
Answering a question on these concerns, Finance minister, Ofori-Atta referenced the government’s programmes for economic transformation, like the GHS100 billion Ghana CARES programme, which were “pre-thought of.”
“Certainly this is a government that has always had a clarity on the plan that we have for the nation, and we can see the strength of the economy from 2017 to 2020.”
He further suggested that the current angst about the standard of living has been influenced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The minister admitted that because of the pandemic, the Akufo-Addo administration had been “stretched to the seams.”
He however said he had met with some of the protestors to “appreciate and empathise” with the situation whilst impressing on them “to realise that we are not just sitting back.”
“We can’t pretend that the coronavirus pandemic has not occurred. We have to be clear on how we had to readjust our economic programmes to be able to save lives first because the sanctity of life of any citizen cannot be compromised,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said.
The #FixTheCountry protestors have been demanding government action on a number of challenges including unemployment, erratic power supply, the infrastructure deficit among others.
Mr. Ofori-Atta assured that the government “will move swiftly to address some of the issues that the #FixTheCountry group has raised.”
As an example, he said the government was “fast-tracking the implementation of the GHS200 million jobs and skills programme and economic transformation programme to enhance job creation.”