General News of 2014-01-10

EOCO must probe Merbank sale - SSNIT board member

A member of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) board of trustees is suggesting that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) leads investigations into the acquisition of Merchant bank to Fortiz private equity fund.

There is growing controversy about the lack of transparency in the 90 million Ghana cedi deal as there have been allegations that the monies paid into the escrow account was coming from the National Pension Authority on behalf of Fortiz Private Equity Fund to get the nod from the Bank of Ghana.

In an interview with Citi News, the Ghana Mine Workers Union representative on the board, Prince William Ankrah stated that the Union “can only call for investigations to be conducted but I don’t think I will be a party to any kind of speculation. EOCO or whatever can probe the transaction.”

He was however of the opinion that the discussions leading to the sale of the bank were carried out in good faith.

Mr. Ankrah maintained that the debt owed by the President’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama does not in any way affect the transaction.

He also has denied supporting his colleague representatives of organized labour on the board to pursue a legal option in reversing the transaction.

Meanwhile, SSNIT in a statement has also dismissed speculations that some four members of its board are considering dragging it to court.

In the statement, it said: “We wish to categorically refute the statement that the following board of trustees of SSNIT, Alhaji Mahamadu Asibi Azongo(POTAG), Kwame Amo Darko (GNAT), Prince William Ankrah(Mine workers) and Theodore Nee Okpey (National Pensioners Association) are considering suing SSNIT on the sale of merchant bank.”

According to SSNIT, the afore-named trustees have not attended any meeting at which they ever decided to be part of a suit against SSNIT.

The statement further rubbished earlier claims by Organized Labour that SSNIT failed to engage organized labour and update them on the transaction.

It said: “SSNIT would also like the public to know that beyond its board meeting, it also met organized labour before the final “no objection letter” was received by bank of Ghana on merchant bank acquisition. At the meeting, SSNIT also explained vividly the steps involved and the details of the acquisition of Merchant Bank by Fortiz equity fund”

SSNIT has therefore assured its stakeholders that it will continue to take decisive, transparent and defensible decisions aimed at sustaining the fund and hence protect the interest of contributors.

Source: citifmonline.com
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