Ghana: Economists Hail Nomination of Seth Tekper - As Finance Minister

Renowned Economists, including Dr. Joe Abbey, have hailed the nomination of former deputy Finance minister Seth Tekper as the new substantive Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday, last week, submitted 12 ministerial nominees to Parliament, which included Mr. Tekper, to be vetted by the august House as substantive ministers.

Prior to his elevation, Mr. Tekper served for four years as a Deputy Finance minister in the last National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. The finance minister designate is a tax expert and was the Finance Ministry's representative on the Bank of Ghana's monetary policy committee during his tenure as Deputy Finance Minister.

Based on Mr. Tekper's work within the four-year span at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, many industry players had tipped him to become the new Finance minister.

The Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA), Dr Joe Abbey described the appointment of Seth Tekper as is a good choice.

"I think in terms of policy continuity; he was part of a team led by Dr Duffour so he must be very much abreast with issues. The binding thing we are facing currently and into the next year is the need to tighten fiscal policy," he told Citi FM an Accra-based radio station yesterday.

Dr Abbey was quick to add that: "Our estimate of the 2012 budget deficit was much bigger than the 6.7 that has been projected so there is the need to return to the drawing board quickly and see how to close the budgetary gap. So from that angle it is a good choice."

Mr. Tekper has the background to carry out his duties efficiently "he knows the staff; the staff knows him so he should be able to take off straight away. He also has a background as a tax expert, therefore, the effort to mobilize public revenues to make sure that we don't have to be having payments arrears or cutting back is some strength that he will also be coming with," he noted.

"Mr. Tekper has also served as the Ministry of Finance representative on the Monetary Policy of the Bank of Ghana and has experience with the Breton Wood Institution, so I think he is a good choice and I think he should be able to do a good job," Dr. Abbey said.

Some of the challenges Mr. Tekper is likely to face in his new position, Dr Abbey mentioned are: "I think expenditure management, but again, he being a finance man, I think he's got to get the niftiness to be working more effectively because that is our data retrieval system they have put in place. So I think that he does the things to be able to deal right away with government expenditure management and government financial management so that we can get on with creating the environment for jobs."

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