Finance Minister appears before Parliament today over $2.2bn

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Ken-Ofori-AttaThe Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Attah will meet Members of Parliament on Wednesday over the $2.25 billion bond issue, reports Graphic Business’ Emmanuel Bruce from Parliament House.

The meeting will be in line with an earlier Order by the Speaker of Parliament, following a request by the Minority for the Minister to appear and respond to their concerns on the loans, raised from the sale of two bonds and a tap in into two others.

The motion gave the Minister 5 working days to appear before the House and the ultimatum ends Wednesday.

The motion was filed by the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, with a request for the full complement of documentation related to the issuance, the participants, the utilization of proceeds and the currency in which the bond was settled.

Mr Iddrisu, while speaking on the floor of Parliament last week said, because the House approved the Appropriation Bill, any government expenditure in relation to that must come to Parliament.

“Mr Speaker, the Public financial management Act and Article 181 of the constitution naturally would have enjoined the Minister of Finance to have demonstrated respect to the House by submitting same for the House’s scrutiny and approval. That has not happened. But we have official statements to the effect that GHc9.7 billion of $2.25 billion has been released. We passed the appropriate Act; [hence] any other expenditure pursuant to it must have the attention of this august house,” he added.

Concerns were raised 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, Mr 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.

A member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Brogya Genfi has also petitioned CHRAJ to look into complaints of conflict of interest.

-Graphic

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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