General News of Wednesday, 20 December 2017
Trades Minister, Alan Kyeramaten has been directed by the Flagstaff House to explain how his Ministry facilitated the collection of $100,000 from some expatriate business men and women.
According to Director of Communications at the Flagstaff House, Eugene Arhin, the Trades Minister has up to 5:00pm Wednesday, December 20, to brief the President on the issue.
Mr. Arhin said President Akufo-Addo had no idea some persons had to pay $100,000 to sit by his table at the December 8 Ghana Expatriate Business Awards organised by the Millennium Excellence Awards in collaboration with the Trades Ministry.
The latest development follows the call by National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, for the President to explain if he was aware that expatriates had to pay between $15,000 and $100,000 to sit close to him at the event.
Mr. Ablakwa said the fact that the monies were paid into the Ministry’s accounts, suggests some fishy deal.
“We are clear in our mind that this is corruption. Corruption is defined as using public office for private gains…It’s buying you access to the president and the proceeds we are not told what the thousands of dollars raised are going to be used for.
“Why is the president silent? Is it a tacit approval?…we need to hear the president on this,” North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said on Joy FM Super Morning Show Wednesday.
However, Mr. Arhin told Emefa Apawu on the midday news on Joy FM that “The president did not know that people who sat by him were charged $100,000 to get that opportunity. We all heard about it for the first time through the media just like how everybody heard about it.”
Those who were able to pay the $100,000 are expected to participate in a dinner event with the President at a yet-to-be-determined date but Eugene Arhin says the Nana Akufo-Addo has no idea about that as well.
“The president does not know about any dinner event to be organised later for those people,” he added.
The president, he noted, is unhappy at the development and therefore has directed the sector Minister, Alan Kyerematen “to come and brief the President” about the matter later today.