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How Ken Ofori-Atta’s father initiated the rejection of the 1979 budget



The late Dr Akwasi Jones Amoako Atta Ofori-Atta was Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Finance

The apparent rejection of the 2022 budget, despite being challenged by the Majority, has become the first time a budget has not been approved in the history of the Fourth Republic.

It is, however, not the first in the history of Ghana. In the preceding Republic, headed by Dr Hilla Limann, a budget statement was also rejected by Parliament.

Apparently, the motion to have that budget of 1979 rejected was moved by Jones Amoako Atta Ofori-Atta, who was then the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee.

He had served as a Deputy Minister of Finance in the Second Republic, which was toppled by the 1972 coup d’etat led by Lt. Col Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.

He was a Deputy to the late Joseph Henry Mensah.

Returning to the Third Parliament on the ticket of the Popular Front Party (PFP), Mr Ofori-Atta filed the motion to have the budget, presented by then Finance Minister Dr Amon Nikoi, rejected.

The motion was seconded by Dr G. K. Adama, the Parliamentary Spokesperson on Finance for the ruling People’s National Party (PNP).

The unprecedented rejection of the budget led to the resignation of Dr Nikoi as Finance Minister. He was later replaced by Dr George Benneh.

Mr Jones Ofori-Atta later contested the 1996 Presidential Primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but lost to John Agyekum Kufuor.

But he served for a while in the latter’s government as Chairman of the Volta River Authority (VRA).

He became an Economics Lecturer at the University of Manchester, UK, where he had obtained his PhD.

Dr Ofori-Atta died in the UK on Monday, November 30, 2020.



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