Deputy Minister-designate for Finance drops US citizenship
The Deputy Minister-designate for Finance and Economic Planning, Mona Helen Kabuki Quartey – who a pro-government newspaper said was an American citizen – yesterday told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that she was indeed having a dual citizenship but completely renounced her American citizenship on Thursday, July 10 – a day before she got vetted by the Committee.
She indicated that she renounced her American citizenship because of the passion she has for the development of Ghana, her country of birth.
She said she had an important contribution to make towards President Mahama's agenda to improve the living standards of Ghanaians.
According to her, she took the American citizenship in 2003 after she got married to a Ghanaian-American so that she could better protect her children in the United States.
“For the love of my country, I have renounced my American citizenship to be able to serve my country of birth,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Kabuki Quartey produced a copy of a correspondence from the American Embassy in Ghana confirming the renunciation of her American citizenship for members of the Vetting Committee to peruse.
When asked whether she was a registered voter, she replied in the affirmative and said that she voted at Ringway in the Osu-Klottey constituency in the last general elections.
When she was asked whether she had been a card-bearing member of the ruling National Democratic Congress
(NDC), she indicated that she had been a card-bearing member since 1992 and produced her party card to that effect.
She acknowledged the fact that there were challenges with the economy and charged Ghanaians to be ready to bite the bullet as the government puts in some 'tough' measures to bring the economy back on its feet.
“There is hope for this country and with my inclusion as a financial expert, I will make sure that I put my knowledge at the disposal of the substantive minister to be able to transform the economy,” she said.
Asked about the gargantuan debt portfolio of the country as a result of excessive borrowing by the government, the Deputy Minister-designate explained that “borrowing itself is not bad, but it will depend on the areas that the loan contracted is invested” and that “loans that are contracted for expanding the infrastructural base of the country cannot be said to be bad at all.”
Mrs. Kabuki Quartey said the main problem with the economy is the inability to raise enough revenue for government's expenditure and also the fact that the country is overdependent on import while export volumes have been shrinking.
She gave the assurance that when approved for the position, she would adopt innovative ways of expanding the tax net and thereby increase government revenue.
“We have to give more attention to value addition in the oil and the agriculture sectors,” she said, adding that the agricultural sector holds the key to the country's economic transformation.
On Thursday, three other Deputy Ministers-designate namely, Della Sowah – for Gender, Children and Social Protection; Dr Victor Asare Bampoe – for Health and Jonny Osei Kofi – Water Resources, Works and Housing, were also vetted by the Appointments Committee.