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CHRAJ Absolves The Minister For Finance Of Conflict Of Interest Allegation In The $2.25 Billion Bond
 
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02-Jan-2018  
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The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice has absolved the Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta of conflict of interest in the issuance of the record-breaking Cedi-denominated Bond within the Sub-region raised in March/April, 2017.

The Commission, in a 140-page report rubbished the conflict of interest allegation brought against the hardworking Minister for Finance by Mr. Yaw Brogya Genfi—The Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress.

On page 138 and 139 of the report, it states, “On the basis of the evidence available to the Commission, it has come to the conclusion and therefore holds that the allegations by the Complainant that the Respondent has contravened Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution by putting himself in a conflict of interest situation in the issuance of the 5-year, 7-year, 10 year and 15-year bonds have not been substantiated.”

This finding, puts to rest the unnecessary speculation by a section of the population, especially the Minority in Parliament and the NDC Party about wrong-doings on the part of the Minister for Finance in issuing the bonds meant to restructure our debt portfolio, and thus provide the government the fiscal space to position the economy on a solid economic footing in order to improve the fortunes of the economy and the well-being of the people.

Critically examining the content of the report, it is crystal clear, that the Complainant only embarked upon an expedition to nowhere, trying mischievously to dent the enviable reputation of the Minister for Finance, who is a known colossus within the financial circles not only domestically, but also globally.

It must also be put on record that the Minister acted with good intention, put the interest of the nation on the front-burner, and above all ensured that the nation became the beneficiary of this very important transaction.

According to the Commission, under its conclusion, the evidence available to her did not support the Complainants allegations that 1. The initial pricing guidelines of the Bond were issued around 5:37 PM on March 30, 2017, by email, which was after normal working hours; 2. The transaction was opened at 9:00AM on March 31, 2017; 3. The public announcement of the transaction was sent be email of approximately 9:09AM on March 31, 2017, which meant that the transaction was opened before the announcement was made to the public; 4. The issuance summary was issued on March 31, 2017, at about 4:20PM by email indicating that the Bond transaction has been closed and announcement made to the public; 5. The size of the virtual “Private Placement” makes it akin to a sovereign bond or foreign loan; 6. Enterprise Group limited is a company partially owned by Data Bank Limited, a company in which the Finance Minister is known to have significant interests; 8. The Finance Minister issued the Bond in a manner that would favour his friends, family associates and/or business partners; and 9. The Bond transaction seems to have been shrouded in secrecy.

From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear, that the petitioner was either engaging in propaganda or malice or did not understand the Bond issuing process.

We would like to plead with the general public to credit each other with good faith and avoid deliberate efforts aimed at marring the reputation of others, and denting the image of the country.

Finally, as much as we welcome the recommendations by the Commission for the Minister to take steps to improve the processes regarding the issuance of securities, it must, however, be submitted that it does not necessarily mean the Minister has deliberately or intentionally breached any laws or regulations in the process, but rather, the need to ensure a properly laid down procedure moving forward.

Signed

Dr. Kingsley Nyarko

(Executive Director)
 
 
 
Source: Dr. Kingsley Nyarko / Executive Director Danquah institute
 
 

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