Speaker Alban Bagbin on Monday led Members of Parliament (MPs) to pay tribute to the late Professor Kwesi Botchwey, former Finance Minister, for his invaluable service to the nation, which spanned from 1882 to 1995.
Prof. Botchway passed-on on November 19, 2022, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, after a short illness at the age of 80.
His funeral is slated for Thursday, December 22, 2022.
The Speaker, who led the House to observe a minute silence in honour of the late Professor Botchwey, described him as a distinguished statesman.
Mr Bagbin said, he was a student of the late Prof Botchwey at the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana in the 1970s, when he was lecturing there.
“And it is some of them who inspired us to where we are. He has a sharp brain, he was flashy…and a man who was a true Ghanaian,” the Speaker said.
He noted that the late Prof. Botchwey spoke so many languages that he was always at home with everybody.
“We will have, as a House (to) find space to celebrate more of such great Ghanaians to bring home to our people that, this is a great nation, made up of great men and women.”
He said Prof. Botchwey’s demise was a shocking departure but at least he celebrated his 80th birthday.
Mr Harun a Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Tamale South, who was the first to deliver his tribute in honour of the late Prof. Botchwey, described him as a great intellectual and a statesman in the league of great Ghanaians, who had contributed to lifting the image of the country.
The Minority Leader said the late Prof. Botchway was an outstanding scholar and academic, an outstanding legal luminary and an outstanding statesman; saying, “he simply was an adorable politician and a political mentor to me personally. I am an ardent mentee of Prof Kwesi Botchway.”
“Mr Speaker, his contribution to Ghana’s economic development as one of the longest-serving Ministers of Finance, is more visible than any other.”
He noted that the late Prof Botchwey was a simple man, who inspired many with his uncharacteristic humility.
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Bekwai, in contributing to the statement said Ghanaians would remember the late Prof Botchwey for introducing the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD) and the Structural Adjustment Programme.
He said throughout the late Prof. Botchwey’s leadership of the Finance and Economic Planning committee, he would also be remembered for his strength and the communication skills with which he defended his economic policies.
Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader and NPP MP for Efutu, eulogized the late Prof. Botchwey for bringing his expertise to bare on the economy of Ghana.
He noted that the late Prof. Botchwey took the country through very challenging times; declaring that “Mr Speaker, the man led the implementation of the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) Phase One, Two and Three and PAMSCAD.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information and NPP MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi, in his contribution also eulogized the late former Finance Minister for stabilizing Ghana’s economy and building upon it.
“Mr Speaker, some of the most difficult period of our economic history, Prof. Botchwey was the man responsible for fiscal policies and key among the things that he was responsible for ensuring the successes were revenue measures, some of which were not popular with the people of Ghana at the time that he was introducing them. But over the years, I think many will agree that his service to this Republic is one that ought to be celebrated,” he stated.
Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the NDC MP for Ellembelle, said the late Prof. Botchwey was a very diligent and friendly man, who spoke his mind and that he supported the development efforts of the nation.
He noted that the late Prof. Botchwey held the view that politics must not be divisive; saying “I think on a day-by-day basis, we must learn from Prof. Kwesi Botchwey’s long list of experience, his dedication and his respect for the ordinary Ghanaian.”