General News of Tuesday, 19 December 2017
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong has condemned the Trade Ministry for allegedly taking money from expatriate businessmen before allowing them sit closer to President Akufo-Addo at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards.
The Trade Ministry has conceded that, some expatriate businesses paid undisclosed amount of money to sit close to President Akufo-Addo.
The Member of Parliament for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak was the first to blow the whistle on what he viewed as illegal charges imposed on businesses by the trade ministry.
According to Alhaji Mubarak, the Trade Ministry allegedly collected US$ 100,000 from participants at the awards held on December 8, 2017 at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra.
The Minority Chief whip, referring to a letter dated October 23, 2017 and signed by the deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Carlos Ahenkora asked business executives who would want to sit closer to the president to pay in excess of US$ 100,000.
But in a rebuttal, the trade ministry in a statement accused the MP of peddling falsehood and playing politics.
“The Ministry of Trade and Industry has learnt with disdain the baseless allegations flying in the media (including social media platforms) that the Ministry charged expatriates between 25,000 and 100,000 dollars to offer them seats close to the President at the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA).
But speaking on Adom TV’s Morning Show “Badwam” Tuesday, the outspoken MP described the allegations as a disgrace to Ghana’s democracy.
He said it is even unacceptable for the President and the Ministers to accept donations and gifts from expatriates to protect their businesses.
He rather accused some elements in the New Patriotic Party who did little to improve the fortunes of the party to bring down Nana Akufo-Addo’s government, a move he says he will not allow.
“Some people in the NPP are really working hard to bring this government down. You people have really disgraced President Akufo-Addo. How can you charge such huge amount of monies from expatriate businesses? It’s indeed a shame to us. I will never support such disgrace acts.
He added: “Nana Addo is not asking anyone for $100k and so they should stop disgracing him and allow the man to work for Ghana,” he said.
Mr. Kennedy Agyapong however charged the Trade Ministry to immediately refund money allegedly collected from businessmen.
“They should refund their monies to them. I will make sure they do because it’s very bad. I know Duncan William’s wife is a lobbyist who has direct contact with these business men and I think she can even help instead taking huge monies from them,” he said.