Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, John Jinapor, has said the Minority will resist any attempt by the government to take money from the Heritage Fund to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).
Addressing the House after the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, delivered a statement on the floor, the Yapei Kusawgu MP insisted that government should instead reduce its size instead of taking money from the Fund reserved for future generations.
“In these difficult moments, when ordinary Ghanaians are suffering, when hotels and businesses are laying off workers in order to ensure that they cover their cost, this is the time for President Akufo-Addo to reduce the size of the ‘bloated’ Ministers we have in this country,” he said.
Mr Jinapor argued that the numerous presidential staffers are draining the coffers of the country.
“President must demonstrate leadership and commitment. He must send a signal to the people of Ghana that he is indeed in charge and prepared to sacrifice for Ghana.
“We cannot ask the ordinary Ghanaian to tighten their belt when we [the government] do not even have holes in our belt,” he stressed
However, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, was of the view that there is no better time to use the Heritage Fund than these times where COVID-19 has exponentially affected the country’s economy.
“To return to pre-coronavirus level, means we have to make hard choices. If there is any such time, where we have to dip our hands into the Heritage Fund, it is now,” he said.
The Heritage Fund was set up by the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 to save oil revenue for the future generations of Ghanaians.
As at now, the asset of the Fund is $521, 827, 648.13.