Mr Charles Adu-Boahen, the Minister of State-Designate, has said the nation’s imports reduced at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an increase in its foreign exchange reserve.
“So we didn’t have to use a lot more dollars to buy goods to bring in, and it also reflected in the currency being more stable, which was helpful. But that does not really translate into better living conditions, especially given the devastating effect of the pandemic,” he said.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday at the Parliament House, in Accra to be vetted, Mr Adu-Boahen explained why Ghana’s exchange reserve was shooting up against a reality of economic hardship.
Mr Adu-Boahen, a former Deputy Minister of Finance, would be a Minister of State at the Finance Ministry if approved by Parliament.
He is a Harvard-trained economist and investment banker, with background in Chemical Engineering, son of the late Professor Albert Adu-Boahen, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Ghana’s 1992 general election.
“I think that hardship is a result of the dark situation that we went through last year. In fact, it could have been a lot worse. If you go to some other countries and you listen to some of the stories, not in the loss of lives, but businesses and livelihoods, so it will take us a while to recover and I think that we are actually on the right path,” he said
Mr Adu-Boahene said the Covid-19 pandemic cost the country about GHS21 billion, of which GHC18 billion was funded through borrowing; grants, and some monies from the Stabilisation Fund.
In reaction to calls by Mr Isaac Adongo, MP for Bolgatang Central, for the committee to reject him on the basis of conflict of interest because he owned Black Advisors, an investment entity that advised the Government, the nominee said no longer played a role in that company.
He said he had resigned from that entity.
“Mr Chairman, as I mentioned earlier, I resigned from the board and management of Black Star Advisors in 2017. I have no role, and I do not participate in their business dealings,” he said.