It has now been confirmed that Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu will be presenting the 2021 budget estimates on behalf of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo in Parliament.
This decision amounts to the President snubbing both the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia and Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen who many believed could be selected to read the budget in absence of Finance Minister designate, Ken Ofori-Atta.
The two NPP stalwarts, Alan and Bawumia had been falling over one another to take up the coveted Budget reading slot because the nominee Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta is still in the United States of America (USA) for a medical review. Mr Ofori Atta is even yet to go through parliamentary vetting and approval.
The Alan and Bawumia camps believe the Budget reading opportunity would have been an “indirect approval” from the President of the person’s candidature and secondly serve to project the candidature of the reader within the party ahead of the party’s internal primary.
Initial reports had indicated the President had settled on Alan Kyerematen to read the Budget but this quickly changed last-minute to Osei Kyei Mensa Bonsu when the President and his Cabinet retired to Peduase for a retreat.
A lot of intense lobbying is alleged to have taken place within the Bawumia camp to have the opportunity taken away from the Alan camp who are currently not pleased about the development.
Although Akufo-Addo has sure preference for who he wants to succeed him, he is nevertheless reported to have expressed misgivings about sending wrong signals about backing someone too early in the day which wouldn’t be good for the party.
Since the budget statement is from the President and normally read on his behalf by the Minister of Finance as a convention, President Akufo-Addo has this time in the absence of a substantive Minister of Finance designated Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is the leader of government business in Parliament to read it on his behalf on Friday.
The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made this known at a press briefing at Peduase Lodge on Monday afternoon, where the Cabinet was on a 3-day retreat.
President Akufo-Addo and the executive branch commence full work this week after a 3-day retreat at the Peduase Lodge.
They moved to Peduase on Saturday morning for the retreat after the swearing in of 28 ministers of state last Friday.