AfDB’s sanction memo to Ghana was inconsequential; Bawumia was deceitful- Fifi Kwetey

Minister of Agriculture Fifi Kwetey says the controversial memo from the Africa Development Bank sanctioning Ghana for its supposed indebtedness was inconsequential and ought not to have come to Ghana.

The Minister said the 18 February memo, which the Editor of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper Malik Kweku Baako intercepted and made available on Newsfile last Saturday, had no business coming to Ghana because at the time it came Ghana had settled all its indebtedness to the Bank.

He stated the memo to Ghana was an aberration and should have gone to either Djibouti or Sudan.

In a new twist to the debt and sanctions scandal that have rocked Ghana and the African Development Bank, the Minister of Agriculture said the man who triggered this whole scandal-Dr Mahamudu Bawumia- was mischievous and deceitful, adding if he [Bawumia] was minded, he would have known that the genuine error committed by the bank was corrected with dispatch, 34 long days before Bawumia gave his lecture.

He said at no point was Ghana in arrears to the Bank and any letter which sought to communicate a state of indebtedness should have been dismissed.

Chronicling the dates and processes involved in Ghana’s debt settlement to AfDB, the minister emphatically stated that Ghana had before January 21, 2015 settled all its indebtedness to the bank.

“As at December 10, 2014 the Ministry of Finance had authorised the payment to the account of AfDB. That is the beginning of the process . On December 17 payment warrant released and signed by the Director of Budget. That is a fact and that is verifiable.

“On December 23, 2014, the letter was dispatched to the Controller and Accountant General and from there it went to the Bank of Ghana.

“The first payment was done. Four currency payments were done and they were swift payment that were sent to the account of the AfDB,” he narrated.

He said the Euro currency with a reference number of FT1501510573 was paid into the account of the AfDB on January 15, 2015.

On the same day, the Pounds version with reference number FT1501568924 was sent to the HSBC. He said the final payment in the Yen currency was made on the 21st January.

“As far as the government of Ghana is concerned this payment had been done and we are not in arrears and had no business being placed under sanctions,” he stated.

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