Business News Fri, 2 Feb 2018

Investors to ditch Ghana over calls to remove Minister

An Investment Banker, Mahama Iddrisu has told Citi Business News calls for the resignation of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta might cause investors to boycott investment decisions to Ghana going forward.

He argued that the move is also likely to affect subscription of the country’s bonds expected to be issued in the first quarter of this year – 2018.

The Minority in Parliament has impressed on President Akufo-Addo to sack the Finance Minister for what they describe as a breach of aspects of the law in the issuance of the 2.25 billion dollar bond in 2017.

Mahama Iddrisu tells Citi Business News the country will become a risky investment destination if the issue is not properly addressed.

“After making your Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Johnson Asiama go, now you want your Finance Minister to go. It shows that things are in disarray. Of course, investors will be worried. What investors normally do is to look for a place that is stable, a place that can give them better returns. If they think that it’s too risky to invest in Ghana because there is constant change of key financial officials, they’ll send their money somewhere.”

Mahama Iddrisu argued that regardless of a country’s positioning as a hub for business, it will see investors walk away if investors get scared of bringing their money into your country.

“Changing officials in key aspects of the economy destabilizes the economy, and what that does is that it worries foreign investors. A lot of signals go out there and the current signals we’re sending out are not positive.”

The Minority in Parliament at a news conference this week addressed by its leader, Haruna Iddrisu, threatened to initiate processes to have the Finance Minister removed from his position through a motion of censure per Article 82 of the constitution.

According to Haruna Iddrisu, the multiple infringements of the law by the Minister in the issuance of the bond as indicated in a report by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), indicated that he acted in bad faith and must not be allowed to remain in office.

CHRAJ concludes probe into bond petition

CHRAJ, in December 2017, cleared Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta of the allegations of conflict of interest in the issuance of the bond, but found him guilty of some infractions in the process.

Among the 21-point findings in its decision, CHRAJ observed that Primary Dealers also doubled up as Bookrunners/Transaction advisors and that dual role gave them an undue advantage.

It also observed that the “Respondent is either a director, former director or shareholder, or beneficial owner, of several companies whose objects relate to the securities market sector. The companies include Databank and EGL. As such, Respondent’s interests in the growth and well-being of those companies, have the potential to conflict with the interests of the state in relation to the securities market such as the issuance of bonds.

It stated that “The Respondent has business partners and associates related to the securities industry where, according to the Respondent, he has been working for over thirty years. These business partners and associates include partners in Databank, Enterprise Group Limited, Ventures and Acquisitions Limited, as well as Keli Gadzekpo, Trevor Trefgarne and Angela Ofori Atta, also Respondent’s spouse.”

‘Blacklist Databank’

Haruna Iddrisu further urged state institutions to cut ties and discontinue engagements with Databank and Enterprise Group which he says the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has interests in.

Source: citifmonline.com
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