General News of Mon, 12 Jun 201729
Ofori-Atta’s response on $2.25bn bond issue disappointing – Pelpuo
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislator for the Wa Central Constituency, Rashid Pelpuo, has described as disappointing the Finance Minister’s response to the Minority’s request for disclosure of details on the controversial $2.25 billion bond.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, had taken a swipe at the Minority in Parliament over the issuance of the $2.25 billion domestic bond, saying they lacked understanding of the actual processes involved.
“It may be tempting to say that the apparent attempt to manufacture some form of integrity deficit is generally borne out of a lack of understanding of the actual process on the part of the manufacturers. But, that may be deemed too charitable, considering the CVs of some of the personalities involved,” he said.
The Finance Minister made the comment on the Floor of Parliament on Wednesday, when he was summoned before the House to explain processes leading to the issuance of the $2.25 billion bond.
But speaking on Citi FM‘s News Analysis Programme, The Big Issue, Mr. Pelpuo slammed Mr. Ofori-Atta for his comments, saying he failed to specifically meet the Minority’s demands.
“The Finance Minister came to Parliament, and set his own questions and did his own thing. In fact, I was very disappointed…He did not respond to the issue of conflict of interest.”
According to him, although the Finance Minister was “asked specific questions”, he refused to respond and “simply spelt out the rules to the Minority.”
“He brought a 2016 manual to speak to us and that was written by Seth Terkper. All that he came to say was not necessary at all. We did not know what he wanted to achieve.”
Concerns have been raised especially by the Minority about the transparency of the $2.25 billion domestic bond government issued, with some noting that the apparent secrecy over the deal fueled the allegations of conflict of interest against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.
The Minority in its conflict of interest allegations, said a non-executive director on the board of Investment Firm, Franklin Templeton, who purchased 95 percent of the $2.25 billion bond, is also the Chairman of the Enterprise Group, which has links to the Attorney-General and the Finance Minister.
The Minority eventually called for a full-scale parliamentary probe into the bond issue. It also petitioned the United States Security Exchange Commission to probe the deal they believe was secured to benefit cronies.