The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta will appear before Parliament this morning to answer questions over the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the $2.25 billion local bond issued in April which has created enormous controversy.
The Minority in Parliament alleges a conflict of interest in the issuance of the bond which was done in secrecy, but the Finance Ministry maintains the right processes were followed.
The Majority side supports the Minority in the move to haul the Minister before the House.
However, the Minister’s anticipated presence in the House may not end the controversy as the Minority side suspects he would not be forthcoming with all the information requested.
Even before the Minister appears before the House, the Minority side has threatened to press contempt charges against him should he fail to furnish the House with adequate information on the bond issue.
Former Deputy Finance Minister and Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson says the resolution of the House, which led to the summoning of the Minister, must be strictly adhered to when he appears before them.
Mr. Forson told journalists in Parliament yesterday that the provision of detailed documentation on the bond would help settle the controversy surrounding the issuance of the bond.
He said they want Mr Ofori-Atta to present to the House the full complement of the details of the bond as agreed and “not in the form of a statement as we did not ask for a statement but documentation.”
“It will be contempt of Parliament for him to come and present a statement as the resolution is clear, straightforward with no ambiguity,” he said.
Questions have been asked about the transparency of the domestic bond government issued in April, with some claiming it was carried out in an atmosphere of secrecy. There was also the claim the bond issued amounted to a conflict of interest situation against the Finance Minister.
According to the Minority, the involvement of Trevor G. Trefgarne, a non-Executive Director on the Board of the investment firm that purchased 95 percent of the $2.25 billion bond raises questions. Mr. Trefgarne also doubles as the Chairman of the Enterprise Group and he is said to have a link to Attorney-General Gloria Akuffo and the Finance Minister.
Parliament last week passed a half hour motion to compel the Finance Minister, to provide detailed information on the bond issued by government within seven days.
The motion was filed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, with a request for the full complement of documentation related to the issuance, the participants, the utilisation of proceeds and the currency in which the bond was settled.
However, Deputy Majority Whip, Matthew Nyindam said the support for the half-hour motion by the Majority Leader shows the commitment of the Majority to working in the interest of mother Ghana and not the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He said President Akufo-Addo’s government is an open one so when the Finance Minister faces the House today, “he will speak to all the details including how the money realised would be spent.”
“We promised good governance and we will deliver that as we have nothing to hide. We want to play our oversight responsibility and deliver proper accountability,” he said.
By: Samuel Mingle/adrdaily.com