The Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame will present this year’s budget statement of the government of Ghana for 2021, Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin announced on Thursday evening.
The presentation of the budget is supposed to be presented by the Finance Minister on the authority of the President.
This year, however due to the absence of the Finance Minister Designate, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, who is out of the country on official duties, it has become necessary for the Majority leader, to present the 2021 Budget.
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”.