The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has called on Staff of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to stay committed to the task of being custodians of the national purse with diligence and integrity.
“Managing the finances of this Country places us in a critical position of trust – in a sense, we are the central nervous system of this Country: If other Ministries and indeed the Nation are to have any resources to implement their policies, we are the ones who will make it happen” he said.
He said it was his prayer that staff would reflect on this awesome responsibility and practically see themselves in the light of this national role as they go about their daily duties.
He made these remarks at an end of year Thanksgiving Service and get-together, for staff held at the forecourt of the Ministry of Finance. The occasion was also used to honour eight retired staff of the Ministry.
Ken Ofori-Atta noted that the end of year is a time for reflection, however, he stressed that most importantly, the end of year Service was to confirm God’s providence and blessings in all circumstances and upholding the Ministry’s firm reliance on Him for the future, “…because of Him we dare to hope”.
The Minister stated that the Budget performance this year had been good, adding that although revenue targets were not met, in comparison, it was better than previous years. He cautioned all staff of MoF to remember to work within the law to avoid becoming victims of PFM sanctions.
Thanking staff of MoF, he noted that his first year as Minister of Finance, had been a very rewarding experience and that he was pleasantly surprised by the sheer magnitude of talent in the Ministry and that without such talent and commitment, the Ministry would not have achieved so much.
The Hon. Minister highlighted a few of the policies the MoF had successfully implemented as a team during the year 2017, namely:
- The Free SHS
- Restoration of nurses and teacher trainee allowances
- Introduction of the Paperless Port system, resulting in increased revenue at the Ports by 56%, from GHc130 million in the first week of September 2016, to GHc213 million in the same period for 2017.
- Removal and reduction of some taxes
- Implementation of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, Act 921 for a whole year.
- Delivery of two national budgets within the year, as well as the mid-year review.
Going forward in 2018, Ken Ofori-Atta made an analogy to the story of the building of the Tower of Babel and called on staff to focus their efforts at speaking one language as they strive to build the nation. This could be achieved, among other things, by having a good understanding of set goals and what it takes to achieve them. “But unlike them, it is not about us: it is about God’s purpose for this Country, for this Republic, and for the people of Ghana.”
He said the “New Year would bring its own mix of successes and challenges, but no doubt our direction is clear, as we know what is before us: We are building a Ghana where our people can harness our collective wealth for the benefit of all, we are building a Ghana that is beyond Aid”.
The Special Guest of Honour for the occasion, Pastor Mensa Otabil, General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church called on Staff of MoF to stay focused to the objectives of the Ministry in spite of the country’s challenges.
Basing his sermon on the story of the birth of Jesus in a Manger in Bethlehem, he said God is capable of creating something positive out of any bad situation.
He said just as the Jews, had experienced all kinds for tribulations in the Old Testament, but they did not despair, but moved on to progressively build back Jerusalem, so it was possible that despite the challenges facing the country, all would be well eventually.
“Out of Bethlehem, a place associated with death, (Rachel) scarcity and famine (Ruth), the King of Kings is born. Bethlehem Ephrathah, became a place of deliverance, provision and royalty, a place where shepherds and wise men came to adore and worship Jesus”.
Pastor Otabil encouraged staff that no matter their circumstance, just like no one expected a king to be born in a manger in Bethlehem, so also shall God turn their lives around.
“The things we see as insignificant, are the things that Gods uses adding that “the same God who watched over Jesus is watching over each and every one”.
Eight Retirees were honored for serving the Ministry, from periods ranging between 21 years and 40 years. They were Mr. Reynolds K.A. Boamah; Mr. Emmanuel Appiah; Ms. Joycelyn Moses; Ms. Victoria Dansoah; Mr. John Dapaah; Mr. Baba Ali Awudu; Ms. Vida Adjei; and Mr. Dennis Hadzi Mensah.
The award ceremony was preceded by a poetry recital by Chief Moomen, titled “It is possible”, to inspire staff to aim for the sky. END