Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, March 2 to deliver the 2017 budget statement and economic policy of government.
In what was strewn with Biblical references, Mr Ofori-Atta’s budget delivery called on all hands on deck to put the economy back on track.
“The LORD did not give us a spirit of timidity,” he said in one of his many Biblical quotations, “and we must confront these problems by the spirit of power, of love and of self-dignity.” He added: “This is a nation that God indeed has blessed”.
The Finance Minister was reading a budget for the first time and had to suffer intermittent heckling from the Minority especially in his preliminary remarks while paying home to his relatives including President Nana Akufo-Addo and Abuakwa South MP Atta Akyea.
But the Finance Minister summed up the budget as consisting of five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed the over 25,000,000 Ghanaians, an allusion to the miraculous feeding of 5,000 men with five loaves and two fishes by Jesus Christ as captured in all the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
“Mr Speaker, President Akufo-Addo’s budget, five loaves and two fishes, has tackled the five structural pillars of revenue, expenditure, earmarked funds, labour and our debts.
“Revenue allocations have been made for tax revenue, annual budget funding amount and the realignment of the statutory funds to fund these priority projects.”
In the account in Luke 9:17, 12 baskets full of food were left after feeding the 5,000 men.
Mr Ofori-Atta said government’s pragmatic steps to save the ailing economy will see extra funds available for other sectors.
“Through Jesus Christ we can resolve these challenges and establish a righteous and just society for all,” he had earlier stated. He concluded by tagging the budget ‘As?mpa’, to wit ‘Good news’.