The United Kingdom chapter of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on president Akufo-Addo to dismiss the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta over what it describes as mortgaging of Ghana’s resources to his cronies.
The group’s call comes after a press conference by the Minority on Tuesday April 18, 2017, where they accused the Mr. Ofori Atta of conflict of interest in the issuance of the government’s recent 15 year bond.
According to them, the US-based firm Franklyn Templeton Investment Limited, which bought 95 percent of the bond had a private dealings with the finance Minister.
To that effect, he connived to give the US-based firm easy access to the bond in a deal they described as shady.
In view of the revelation by the Minority, the group said in a statement Friday that they cannot allow president Akufo-Addo and his surrogates dish out state resources among themselves.
“We are therefore calling on the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta to bow down his head in shame and resign from the office he holds on behalf of all Ghanaians. If that fails the President should muster the moral courage to sack him with dispatch so as to protect the public purse,” demanded the group.
Below is the full statement
NDC UK/IRELAND CALLS ON KEN OFORI-ATTA TO RESIGN OR BE SACKED.
Members of the United Kingdom Chapter of the National Democratic Congress have learnt with utter dismay the bold manner in which President Akufo-Addo’s Finance Minister has mortgaged our national income and future to private business entities and interests close to him.
The recent issue of a $2.25 billion dollars debt by the government has thrown up not only public revulsion, but also revealed the direction the Akufo-Addo government wants to take with regard to their stewardship of our national wealth.
The latest substandard governance decision by this regime cannot withstand even the lowest threshold of scrutiny.
It is a fact that Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister co-owns Enterprise Group Ltd with Mr Trevor Trefgarne. But Mr Trevor Trefgarne is the Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Group Ltd.
We also know as a matter of fact that Mr Trevor Trefgarne is a Director of Franklin Templeton, the company which holds 95% of the new bonds issued under the Ministerial aegis of his business partner Ken Ofori-Atta. Another incontrovertible fact is that the wife of the Finance Minister is a Principal director of the Enterprise Group. The Attorney General of our dear country, Madam Gloria Akufo, was a director of Enterprise Life, a subsidiary of the Enterprise Group until hours before the deal was executed.
It is therefore not possible that all the above actors would be unaware of the palpable web of interests and relationships that show clear conflicts surrounding this deal. Regardless of this, they colluded to commit Ghanaians to this massive debt at such an unimaginable rate for what seems to be their private benefits.
As was reported earlier, this deal is the biggest by any sub-saharan African country in a day. One would have expected that the parliament of Ghana would be consulted to ensure that there is value for money, as was the case under previous governments. Yet, the clique of kleptocracy led by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta avoided so doing, and rather opted for secrecy.
Again, we are utterly shocked at the revelation that the Attorney General did not know about this overwhelming financial deal. How is it possible that the legal advisor to the government of Mr Akufo-Addo was unaware of the biggest debt deal in a day by any African country south of the Sahara? No heist of this magnitude should evade such a critical institution in our country. Our institutions exist for such critical national purposes.
We cannot sit by and watch Mr Akufo-Addo and his family-run government destroy the fortunes of Ghana and her citizens for the sake of his family and friends’ economic interests.
We are therefore calling on the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta to bow down his head in shame and resign from the office he holds on behalf of all Ghanaians. If that fails the President should muster the moral courage to sack him with dispatch so as to protect the public purse.
To President Akufo-Addo, we want to ask, is he the same person who said “if you want to make money stay away from my government” when he was seeking the votes of Ghanaian? If it is the case, then we are expecting him to live by his words and sack his disappointing cousin Finance Minister before Ghana financially bleeds do pulp.
We will not relent until the interest of all Ghanaians are duly protected from this nascent kleptocracy.
God bless our homeland Ghana.
(Chapter Secretary, NDC UK/IRELAND)