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$100K Saga: Monies retained by Trade Ministry to cater for subsequent events – Alan

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Fri, 12 Jan 2018 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Trade Minister and witness in the ongoing probe into the cash-for-seat saga, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has indicated that contrary to what many are suggesting, monies being transferred into the account of the Trade Ministry from the recently held Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA) are purposely for funding subsequent events held by the Millenium Excellence Foundation.

The Trade Ministry has come under severe criticism following allegations of extortion that flooded the media waves after the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards.

The Minority accused the ministry of abusing the presidency to raise funds from the organization of the Expatriate Business Awards held on December 8, 2017.

According to the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, expatriate businessmen paid unapproved fees to the tune of $100,000 to sit close to the President of Ghana at the Awards night with and other benefits attached to it.

Addressing the 5-member ad-hoc committee tasked with probing the alleged collection, Mr. Kyeremanteng explained that according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry and the Millenium Excellence Foundation, 10% of the proceeds from the event after all expenses have been made will be transferred to the Ministry’s account to support the hosting of subsequent events of the foundation.

“It is agreed that after all expenses are paid for, the remaining agreed funds are transferred into the Millenium Excellence Foundation (MEF) account. That funds left over will be retained by Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) for subsequent hosting of Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA) and initiatives that are derived from the event such as an Expatriate Advocacy and Support Association and organization of a Ghana Expatriate Business Forum..." he said.



The Minister, among other things, revealed at the sitting Friday, January 12, that a total of 9 persons contributed towards the event. 7 persons made contributions prior to the event, 2 contributed after the event and 3 persons out of the total 17 seated at the Presidential high table gave nothing.

He listed the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, himself (Alan Kyermanteng), his deputy, Carlos Ahenkorah, President of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, Ashim Morton and Former President Jerry John Rawlings among the personalities who sat at the Presidential high table on the awards night.

Background

The Minority has accused the Trades Ministry of abusing the presidency to raise funds for the organization of the Expatriate Business Awards organized on December 8, 2017.

According to the Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak, expatriate businessmen paid between ¢15,000-¢100,000 to sit close to the president of Ghana at the Awards night with and other benefits attached to it.

He described the transaction as lacking transparency, highly unethical and needs to be investigated.

The revelations by the Minority caused a huge public uproar which forced the president to summon the Trades Minister to provide him details of the scandal.

After hearing from Alan Kyeremanten, the sector Minister, the president caused a statement to be issued by the Information Minister clearing the Minister of any wrongdoing.

But the Minority was unimpressed and demanded an urgent sitting in Parliament during which they demanded an investigation.

The Speaker agreed to the call and constituted a five-member committee to look into the matter.

On Thursday, the mover of the motion in Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak and the seconder of same Okudzeto Ablakwa have testified to the matter and to adduce evidence they believe cast doubts on what the Trade Ministry and the presidency have said about the cash-for-seat scandal.

Ablakwa provided documentary evidence he claims were a comedy of contradictions by the Trades Minister Alan Kyerematen.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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