Conflict of interest allegations over 15-year bond ignorant, mischievous – Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia has described the allegations of conflict of interest by the Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) over a recent 15-year bond sale as mischievous and ignorant.

The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, breached conflict of interest rules when he allowed a close associate of the Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, to invest in the $2 billion bond.

The Minority MPs also said at a press conference on the matter that the transaction was shrouded in secrecy, cooked to favour one investor, and did not have Parliamentary approval.

Read: NDC MPs want Parliamentary probe into govt’s 15-year bond

However, speaking to journalists after an engagement with investors in Washington DC on Thursday, the Vice President said it was unfortunate that the allegations have come from the NDC, who should know better.

“This shows a lack of understanding. The Minority has never understood this economy and it is just amazing that people on their side who were actually in charge of managing the economy would be making such statements. It shows ignorance. It really shows ignorance and I am really sad when I hear that from people who should know better,” he told Joy Business’ George Wiafe in Washington DC.

He said had the Minority MPs taken the time to critically examine the deal, they would not have made the comments they made about the transaction.

“We issued a cedi bond, there is no secrecy to the matter. It was very well invested in. The holders have invested many times in Ghana.

“The bonds that were in place when Seth Terkper [former Finance Minister] issued them, they [investors] bought them [at] 24% interest rate. This time it is 19% so we are doing even much better. But this is what politics has been reduced to – trying to say things that have no basis,” Dr Bawumia was not enthused.

The NDC MPs have since called for a Parliamentary probe into the local bond issue.