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"Sack the Money Man!" - Ghana's NPP

FILE: Ghana Finance Minister Ken-Ofori-Atta. Taken Oct. 5, 2022

A majority of Ghana's ruling party parliamentarians on Tuesday asked the president to sack finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta and his deputy, in order to "restore hope in the financial sector".

Speaking on behalf of 80 of the 137 NPP members, Andy Appiah-Kubi said the members of parliament would not take part in any business of government and would boycott budget hearings until its demands for removing Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and his second-in-command are met.

"We have voiced our concerns to the president...without any positive response," Appiah-Kubi said. "Until such persons are made to resign or otherwise removed from office, we...will not participate in any business of government."

Ofori-Atta, a former banker before being named finance minister in 2016, had repeatedly pledged not to seek IMF assistance before finally engaging the Fund in July.

With nearly half of all government revenue going towards interest payments, concerns that Ghana might need to restructure its debt in order to secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have further strained market confidence.

The West African gold, cocoa and oil-producing country is negotiating a support program from the IMF in a bid to reduce economic hardship that has spurred several rounds of protests.

Ghana is facing its worst economic crisis in a generation. Last week was the cedi currency's worst in 15 years, falling nearly 20% against the dollar, and consumer inflation is hovering at a 21-year high of 37.2%.

"Markets will likely view any change with the potential to slow IMF negotiations as a negative," said Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered.

"Speedy arrangement of an IMF program is of the essence, and the current team has been closely involved in those negotiations," she added.

Parliament is set to begin debating the 2023 budget in the coming days.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo already faces a hung parliament, with membership split down the middle between the two major parties. Even single abstentions often hold back ruling party proposals from becoming legislation.