Prof. John Gatsi, the Dean of the University of Cape Coast Business School has stated that the constitution of Ghana has not stated any specific appointee of the President that can present the Budget to Parliament.
According to the lawyer and financial economist, the President can direct any of his appointees to present the budget to parliament.
Speaking to Swiss FM in Ho on 10th March, 2021 about the 2021 budget and whether or not another appointee of the president can present the budget, Prof. John Gatsi said “Article 179 of the Constitution mandates the president to cause the preparation and presentation of the budget to parliament. Conventionally, the Finance Minister presents the budget to parliament for approval.”
Prof Gatsi explained that so long as the budgetary processes including cabinet approval have been followed, any appointee of the president may present to parliament when ordered by the president.
He further explained that “what no other person can do is the implementation of the budget and the preparation of a supplementary budget as these duties are specifically indicated by the public financial management as that of a finance minister” adding that “for the avoidance of doubt, the implementor of the public financial management act is the finance minister.”
Prof. Gatsi also drew attention to the fact that the finance minister is the implementor of both the public procurement policy, the procurement act, and the petroleum revenue management act and is at the apex of the financial market regulatory hierarchy.
“Thus the implementation of the budget cannot be done by any other minister or appointee of the president unless designated and approved as finance minister.” – He emphasized
Former Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Attah has been renominated by President Akufo-Addo as Finance Minister for his second term.
However, about two weeks ago, the Finance Ministry issued a statement saying Mr. Ofori-Attah has been flown to the United State over Post Covid-19 complications.
Then started a debate as to who to present the 2021 budget. Earlier, there were media reports that the President has directed Trade minister Alan Kyerematen. This decision according to reports projects Mr. Kyerematen ahead of Vice President Dr. Bawumia as there are ongoing debates as to which of these two personalities will lead the ruling NPP in the 2024 Presidential elections.
This might have forced the President to direct Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to do the presentation tomorrow.
by Efo Korsi Senyo / awakenewsroom.com