General Politics

Haruna Iddrisu describes 2023 budget as ‘ɛka mpɛ dede’

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has christened the 2023 financial statement and economic policy presented to Parliament on Thursday as “ɛka mpɛ dede” budget.

“ɛka mpɛ dede” in the local Akan language means, ‘debt does not like noise.’

According to him, per the Finance Minister’s presentation, it is evident that the nation has been declared a “high-risk distressed debt country.”

“Today, Mr Speaker, we’ve heard the honourable Minister for Finance before this august House, declare Ghana a high-risk distressed debt country.

“So this budget is ‘ɛka mpɛ dede’ budget,” he said.

Mr. Iddrisu’s statement is an apparent reference to President Akufo-Addo’s now famous “sika mpɛ dede” (Money does not like noise) dictum, when he urged Ghanaians to stop talking down the currency, which has been depreciating in recent times.

In the opinion of the Minority Leader, the Minister has set the nation on course for debt restructuring.

“He [Finance Minister] has announced debt restructuring in the name of a debt exchange programe,” Mr. Iddrisu jokingly reminded the house.

After the Finance Minister’s presentation of the 2023 budget, Mr Iddrissu who believes the country has overborrowed, made the claim to express his dissatisfaction and to also criticise the Akufo-Addo-led administration.

“Mr. Speaker, my greatest expectation of the Minister, is to regularise his borrowing under the Amended Bank of Ghana Act of 2016.

“You have to come back to this house, to seek our mandate and authorisation for your excessive borrowing from the Bank of Ghana. That needs to be regularised.”

He described the absence of the Vice President from Parliament during the budget presentation as a sign of dissatisfaction with the 2023 budget by even NPP faithful.

“Mr Speaker today, there’s no pump and pageantry. Even they are not happy. That explains why, Mr Speaker, he is unaccompanied. Where is the Vice President?”

He said the 2023 budget simply signals that the nation’s economy is “on life support.”

Notwithstanding his discontent with the budget, the Minority Leader assured the Finance Minister, that he has the support of the Members of Parliament to set the nation on the path of recovery.

“When you are on life support, two things can happen- a recovery, or the unknown. He has our prayers, that we will help him to recover the economy.”

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