General News of 2014-01-16

President's confidence will make me do better - Terkper

Ghana's Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper has said attempts by some people within government to get the President to fire him would rather challenge him to do better.

President Mahama revealed on Wednesday at a meeting with the new Barclays Bank boss that he was under pressure to dismiss Mr. Terkper.

The minister’s critics accused him of mismanaging the economy, allowing the cedi to fall sharply against the dollar, rising inflation and unnecessary borrowing.

But the Finance Minister says the president’s confidence in him will challenge him to do well.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Seth Terkper also dismissed claims that President John Dramani Mahama’s performance over the past year was abysmal.

According to him, the New Patriotic Party was “making those assertions in the public domain because they did not have enough grounds to debate the issue in parliament.”

The main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) earlier stated that President John Mahama’s performance in 2013 can only be described as abysmal as the economy further declined during the period.

Mr. Terkper added that part of the outstanding debt stocks that emerged during Mahama’s administration was from the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“Often the debt stock includes debts which were contracted by the NPP and in some cases goes even beyond that because if you borrow from the World Bank for 40 years, and borrow from the African Development Bank for 25 years and you borrow from other institutions which give you loans on a long term, which actually as a developing country constitutes the largest share of our borrowing, and you give the impression that this could be attributed to an NDC era then it is very unfortunate,” the Minister said.

He stated that some other projects started by the previous government was unfinished due to financial problems that the Mahama administration was battling with.

“We had to issue domestic bonds to pay for the junk of work left by the previous government without a definite source of finance”