Paul Adom-Otchere has defended Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the wake of attacks relative to his alleged role in government’s transactions on the international capital markets.
Ofori-Atta has been attacked by veteran broadcaster, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, popularly referred to as KKD, for allegedly profiteering from loans that the country contracted from the Eurobond market.
According to the Good Evening Ghana host, it was unfair for people to continue to accuse the Minister of profiteering from legitimate business that a company he founded – but has since left – is doing with successive governments.
Adom-Otchere whiles delivering a historical analysis of Ghana’s Eurobond journey explained how Databank – a company co-founded by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta – and other local investment outfits were legally picked to work on these transactions.
He cited the case of renowned investment banker Togbe Afede and his company, Strategic Africa Securities, SAS, in driving home the point that Ofori-Atta and Databank were involved in legitimate business for which the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana had given them required legal clearance.
“If tomorrow, Togbe Afede becomes Minister of Finance, should we say, you have become Minister of Finance, therefore, SAS can no longer advice government on Eurobond borrowing and close down the company?
“But that is the reality that we take from the narrative of broadcast legend, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah,” Adom-Otchere noted.
“And if we don’t stop SAS and they do the bond, can I come and sit on TV and say that Togbe Afede is a thief and that as Ghana is borrowing, his company is making money from the borrowing. Can I really say that? Should I be able to say that?” he quizzed.
He mimicked how KKD spoke about reading a voluminous document and the Finance Minister’s company being part of the loan and he making money… ”which is what he has been doing long before he became Finance Minister,” Adom-Otchere remarked.
Recent critique of Ofori-Atta and Databank's alleged 'Eurobond gains'
KKD, this week became the latest critic of Ken Ofori-Atta's alleged conflict of interest position in government's Eurobond transactions.
According to him, the minister is benefiting at the expense of the country.
“I read a report yesterday that broke my heart, I saw how much Ghana owes but I also found that apparently, the minister of finance’s company or former company is a transaction advisor to the monies that we borrow. So as Ghana gets poorer, the minister of finance’s company or former company gets richer,” he stated when he appeared as a guest on GTV’s Breakfast Show programme.
Describing the situation as unacceptable, KKD accused parliament of also failing to defend the interest of the country by allowing such a practice to fester.
“Is this how we want to continue in this country? Do we want to elect people into office, give them their pay and their perks and then allow them and their friends and their companies or their former companies to be the very beneficiaries of the woes of our country?
"This is not only about the finance minister of finance; this is about parliament. Parliament, you must be ashamed of yourself.
"You have failed the people of Ghana because I don’t think from the time of Nkrumah to date, whoever is the minister for finance should be benefiting every time our country goes to borrow money. Is that what happened?’’ he questioned.
“Look we have leaders of the industry, some who have been deprived of their finances and in the meantime, the people who are sitting in power are stealing us blind and all people can tell me is oh this is general knowledge,” he fumed.
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