General News of Fri, 9 Jun 201715

$2.25bn bond: Be silent if you can’t praise - Ofori-Atta to Minority

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Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has hit hard at the minority members of parliament over their crusade against issuance of $2.25 billion bond.

The Minister is admonishing the National Democratic Congress MPs to cease bad mouthing the deal if they cannot acknowledge government’s genuine efforts at fixing the “broken” economy.

The minority has been alleging wrongdoing in the deal accusing the Finance Minister of engaging in Insider trading, conflict of interest and causing financial loss to the state. The crusade by the minority compelled parliament to summon Mr. Ofori-Atta to the House with the full details of the bond issuance on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. The minister denied any wrongdoing in the bond issuance before the House, adding the deal was transparent and is the best ever in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“It is our hope, the hope of the government that we shall, regardless of which side of the divide we may find in the pew find the courage to offer praise when deserved or at least silence if praise is difficult to give on the bare face of positive efforts from those whom the baton of governance has been passed on and who can be seen to be working hard to fix what was broken and correct what was wrong,” he said.

Ofori-Atta went on to hint “a lot” of rot allegedly perpetrated by the Mahama administration has been uncovered at the Finance Ministry. According to him it is therefore not surprising that the minority Mps will think same of the Akufo-Addo led government.

“Mr. Speaker, I’ve been at the Ministry for some five months or so and I can truly to a certain degree understand the cynicism that has come from some members as to the integrity and transparency of process because we have seen a lot at the Ministry and therefore understand.”

On the conflict of interest allegation, the member alerted the house his past as a major player in the financial sector will mean he will have to constantly be dealing with people he has known or had dealings with in the past as a business man.

“But I will like to assure members that we were placed in this position because of our experience, our network and our competence and so this will not be the last time that we will do transactions in which we at the ministry will be very familiar with people in the financial services industry.”

The minority members after the presentation of the minister however expressed their disappointment stating the minister failed to furnish the house with all the documents demanded.



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