General News of Saturday, 21 January 2017
Senior Minister-designate Yaw Osafo Maafo somewhat put paid to claims that he, in his capacity as Minister of Finance, sought to raise a loan for the then Kufuor government from a lender that allegedly had a barbering shop as its offices.
The nominee also addressed some “mischievous” newspaper reports published by the Daily Dispatch, which were raised by the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, when he (Marfo) appeared before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee.
The Senior Minister-designate was the first to be vetted on Friday by the committee.
During the proceedings, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa made reference to what Mr. Osafo Marfo described as “frivolous propaganda” allegations that he (Osafo) supervised two major financial scandals.
He questioned Mr. Osafo Marfo’s role in the CNT/CI loan and MacMillan debacle under the erstwhile Kufour regime.
In a quick riposte to the North Tongu MP, Mr. Osafo Marfo silenced the MP suggesting that he was too young to understand the details of the two issues at the time.
“I think you were too young at the time to understand the issue,” he stated.
He was later made to retract his comment to Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa, which was considered “unparliamentary”, and apologized to him.
Few details about the two issues are that Osafo Marfo at the time of Kufour government secured a 300 million dollar loan from the CNT Construction Investment Ltd. (CNTCI Ltd) to undertake some infrastructural projects but the loan was described as fraudulent by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
In 2005, he was also accused of using fraudulent means to sole source a US $ 27 million deal to Macmillan Company to provide text books for the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Mr. Osafo Marfo stated that he never made purchase of a single book from Macmillan neither did he engage in any act of fraud regarding the issue.
He strongly held that he has a reputation and therefore will never smear it with any scandalous activity.
“…whether under Yaw Osafo Maafo as a Minister, we bought a single book from Macmillan; No, we did not. Because I found out there were intrigues to create problem in the whole industry and I prefer to keep my honour…So, I refused to carry out the tender and we didn’t buy anything from Macmillan.
“People pretend to be mischievous and engage in demonization on things which are frivolous. It is frivolous…Up till today; I never bought a single book from Macmillan under such arrangements,” he stressed.
He discounted the claims, referring to them as a “mere propaganda which worked for them (the NDC) because once you carry out that headline, people will speak on it from angles in the newspapers and it tends to stick. But no book was ever bought from Macmillan. So, that alone, was spurious and not right.”