It has now emerged that the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MOTI) decision to invite Destination Inspection Companies (DICs) interested helping the government of Ghana pay off debt owed to Bankwich, was a decision backed by cabinet.
Communications Minister Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, made this revelation on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana after an impression had been created that MOTI is involved in transactions which may constitute bribery. The minister of trade Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, was made the primary target and got a lot of flak for coming out with that decision.
A decision by the Prof. Mills administration to terminate a contract which was awarded to Bankswich under the Kufour administration for services in the trade facilitation arena, led to a judgment debt of GHc197 million payable to Bankswitch.
Till date the government of Ghana has been unable to settle the debt and Bankswitch, has sought to receive the entire judgment debt over a 5-year period. They have also requested to be given 0.35% of the FOB values of all Ghana’s imports over five years.
To prevent Bankswich from making One billion Ghana cedis bilking the government of Ghana for no work done, MOTI decided to invite Destination Inspection Companies interested in paying off the Bankswich debt.
Speaking on the issue, Dr. Omane Boamah revealed that the Ministry of Finance and Attorney General's Department constituted the team that worked on settling the judgement debt.
But according to him, cabinet had to reject the mode of payment which included the 0.35% contract to Bankswich the team presented to it.
“The fact of the matter is that cabinet rejected the position that we should reward Bankswitch with another contract”, he said.
He further revealed that cabinet advised that in settling the debt, other areas should be looked at and this he adds could have motivated Dr. Spio-Garbrah to call on DICs to support government in paying the debt.
According to Dr. Omane Boamah, without this background one might assume Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah erred in making the above call.
“If you should read the position of the ministry of finance and that of Hon. Spio- Garbrah; and you don’t have this information, it would sound contradictory. But with this kind of information, you look at what the ministry of finance is saying and you realize that government is still exploring options and Spio- Garbrah was only operationalizing one of the ways to derive the money”, he added.
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