Accra, 18th December, 2020 - Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has entreated staff to count their blessings so they could see the goodness of the Lord in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.
“The year 2020 has been a remarkable one! And yet, the Lords protection, His providence, and His graciousness has been particularly pronounced as we found ourselves overwhelmed by the debilitating socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
He made this known at the Ministry’s semi-virtual end of year thanksgiving service and send-off for retired staff held at the Ministry of Finance last Friday.
In a speech read on his behalf by Hon. Abena Osei-Asare, the Deputy Minister in charge of Budget, the Minister noted that, with COVID-19 acting as the running theme across many nations, the Lord’s protection, providence, and his graciousness had been particularly pronounced, especially, for Ghana.
“I have relied on many Bible verses over the course of the year to power through the challenges of the season and I find that 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 encapsulates how I feel this very moment as we look at the year 2020 from the end”, he stated.
The quotation reads, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.
Mr. Ofori-Atta further stated that “2020 has been a year of prayer for many of us, COVID-19 caused most of us to pray more than we have ever prayed and we shall continue to pray, surrounding ourselves to God’s salvation”.
He said as a Ministry, it was imperative for staff to give thanks for the many miracles the Lord had and continues to bring and the hope He gives for the future in the midst of the global crisis.
Commenting on some of the major highlights of 2020, the Minister noted that the Ministry began the year on an extraordinary high when it went to the Eurobond Market in February and raised US$3 billion, including a 41-year bond, thus, Ghana becoming the first ever country on the African continent to successfully issue such a bond; the development of COVID-19 alleviation and revitalization programme i.e. the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme.
Others, included, the development and launch of the National Mortgage and Housing Finance Initiative, the skillful recalibration of the 2020 budget during the Mid-Year review to provide government with the critical fiscal space needed for economic recovery and transformation.
To mitigate the high impact of the COVID-19 on Ghanaians, the Ministry, he stated devised initiatives to support critical sectors of the economy and at the same time provided the resources needed for government to support lives and livelihood during the critical period of the Covid-19 outbreak in Ghana.
Mr. Patrick Nomo, Chief Director of the Ministry in his welcome address expressed his deepest appreciation to staff for their support throughout the year, especially, the strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols that had kept all safe.
He commended the Hon. Minister and his industrious team for their extraordinary and unparalleled dedication and commitment to work that had culminated in the many enviable achievements and international recognition.
“2021 promises to be a year of recovery and growth. As a Ministry, we will work assiduously with others to implement the Ghana CARES “Obaatanpa” programme to guide the country’s post COVID revitalization and transformation efforts. We would also be expected to present two (2) Budget Statements and a Mid-Year Review to Parliament” he indicated.
Mr. Nomo noted that through the staffs’ collective efforts, the Ministry was able to raise financing for the COVID-19 response programmes; present the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review and Supplementary Estimates; present the Expenditure-in-Advance-of-Appropriation; prepared and submitted the Ministry’s Handing over Notes; and launched the audacious GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES “Obaatanpa’ Programme.
He assured the gathering that Management will continue to prioritize welfare and capacity development of staff to enable them achieve the overall goal of the Ministry.
Madam Joyce Rosalind Aryee, Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries, a para-church organization in her sermon, beseeched staff to always have grateful hearts. She noted that it was vital for staff to develop an appreciative heart in order to draw the blessing and favour of God into our lives.
Citing the Gospel of John 6:11, the she revealed that Jesus gave thanks based on the certainty that God would keep his word and multiply the loaves and fishes and hence, the need to thank God before we submit our requests to him.
Staff who excelled in their Divisions in the course of the year were rewarded; citations and an awards package was also presented to 2020 retired staff.
The fun filled presentation ceremony after the thanksgiving service was interspersed with perfectly choreographed performance of the Jerusalema song by some staff of the Economic Strategy and Research Division.
Clad in either a white apparel or the Ministry’s African Wear, staff danced and sung to the glory of the Lord. Song ministration was by the combine choirs of the Ministry of Finance and the Controller and Accountant General. END