The Minister of State designate for Finance, Mr Charles Adu-Boahen, has stated that the government's solid management of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a victim of its own success.
“Under the exceptional leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, we managed to tackle the pandemic so well that people do not realise how devastating it was and what the potential ramifications could have been,” he stated.
He said the challenges of the economy were due to the harsh times that the country went through last year.
Mr Adu Boahen gave the explanations when he appeared before Parliament's Appointments Committee Wednesday [June 2, 2021].
He was the first, in addition to two deputy ministers designate, to appear before the committee.
They were Mr Benito Owusu-Bio for Lands and Natural Resources and Mr O. B. Amoah for Local Government.
“In fact, it could have been a lot worse. If you go to some other countries and you listen to some of the stories, not about loss of lives but businesses and livelihoods, so it will take us a while to recover and I think that we are actually on the right path,” Mr Adu Boahen stated.
“I am hopeful that things are going to get better for Ghanaians in the near future as the economy slowly recovers following several interventions being executed by the government. I think the introduction of the vaccines and the speed with which we brought the vaccines in will help us get back to normal more quickly, which will then allow businesses to resume work, the borders to be opened fully and for economic activities to resume,” he added.
Mr Adu Boahen said once that happened, the hardships would be relieved and people would feel better.
The Minister of State designate also told the committee that he was no longer involved in the running of Black Star Brokerage, which he owns.
Prior to the minister's vetting, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Mr Isaac Adongo, had called on the committee to reject him, accusing him of conflict of interest due to the involvement of Black Star Brokerage in the issuance of the country's bonds.
But when he appeared before the committee, Mr Adu-Boahen said he had resigned from the company in 2017 and had since not engaged in any of its activities.
“As I mentioned earlier, I resigned from the board and the management of Black Star Brokerage in 2017. I have no role and do not participate in its business dealings,” he stated.
Black Star was advisor
Mr Adu Boahen, however, confirmed that his firm, Black Star Brokerage, was selected as one of the advisors to the international markets programme which included the issuance of the Eurobond.
He said in spite of the selection, the company did not participate in the Eurobond issuance and, therefore, did not have any engagement or sign any engagement letter, nor was it paid any fees or did any business with government.
He noted that the appointment of Black Star Brokerage was purely based on merit and stressed that he had no influence over the decision.
“In its current capacity as a bond market specialist, it is operating purely based on performance and I have no influence or say in what it does. It is the responsibility of its management to go out and raise money for government when bonds are issued. They then get paid based on their ability to do so,” he explained.
The Minister of State designate also defended the government's decision to cancel the PDS contract.
He said the country had to cancel the deal due to the invalidation of some of the guarantees.
“It is my understanding that the insurance guarantee that was obtained was not valid and so it put the assets at risk in case anything was to happen. And if that was not valid, then that means the whole contract was invalid and had to be cancelled,” he said.
He said the cancellation did not lead to the loss of money by the state but rather helped save the state from losing money.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|