General News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Minister-nominee for Energy and Petroleum, Boakye Agyarko, has explained that he does not possess a US citizenship, although he lived in that country for 25-years as a political refugee.
Mr. Agyarko, who made this known to Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Monday, said he went into exile in that country, after he was shot in 1983, following the 1981 coup led by Jerry John Rawlings Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
Unlike many who died from the oppressive regime, Mr. Agyarko said he survived after his sisters and another person helped him to relocate to the United States, where he was admitted as a political refugee.
“I went to the US as a political refugee, and qualified as such. In a matter of two years, I was able to upgrade my status from a refugee to that of a resident permit holder. This is because I had a number of equity situations namely; my sister could apply for me to hold a green card as well as my mother, who had become a naturalized American citizen. Throughout the period, I stayed in America on a Green card, and at no point in time did I become a citizen of the United States.”
When asked by committee member Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, whether he’s able to return to the United State, he responded in the affirmative.
Narrating PNDC era experience
Whiles clarifying a two-year gap on his CV between 1984 and 1986, Mr. Agyarko said “I was employed by Management and Investment Consultants in 1980 after my national service. In June 1983, for those who will recall, there was a mutiny led by lance corporal Halidu Giwa. I was picked up by the Military and sent to the Airforce Station and put against the wall and shot. I almost lost my life, and through the intervention of Monsieur Le Veloire and my two sisters who are seated behind me, I was able to leave Ghana through London to France, and then settled in the United States under very difficult circumstances.”
“So for that period, I was close to being an invalid; and I didn’t do any work. Even though I left officially in 1983, Management and Investment Consultants wrote to me officially saying that as at the end of 1984 I was no longer employed with them, so my employment with them ended in 1984, and the next two years I was going through a series of surgeries and recuperation.”
The committee member and MP for North Tongu, who solicited the information from the nominee, sympathized with him.
“My sympathies for a rather touching story,” Mr. Okudzeto said.
Boakye Agyarko lauded
Mr. Boakye has been widely praised for his performance at Monday’s vetting, as he displayed in-depth understanding of the technical problems in Ghana’s energy sector from generation to distribution, through to pricing, financing and management.
About Boakye Agyarko
Boakye Agyarko is 60 years old. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon; an Advanced Professional Certificate in Banking from the American Institute of Banking and an MBA in Financial Economics from the Pace University, New York.
He held a Vice President position at the Bank of New York, in New York, and in over 20 years at the Bank, he worked at senior levels in various departments, including Operations Management and Analysis, Product Development, Global Network Managements, International Banking and Asset Management and the Y2K Management Group.
His responsibilities in these various departments and positions included international trade finance, loan syndications, asset securitization and structured finance.
He is a member of the American Economic Association, and an Associate of the American Institute of Bankers. He served as the National Campaign Manager of the New Patriotic Party for the 2012 Elections, and served as Policy Advisor for the President’s 2016 electioneering campaign.
He is a Consultant to Capital Economics and Investments, a start-up economic analysis and investments group in Accra, Ghana.