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Allegations of conflict of interest malicious, Finance Ministry says

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The Ministry of Finance has punctured allegations of conflict of interest leveled against the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on the issuance of the $2.25 billion bond, describing it as baseless.

It would be recalled that the Minority in Parliament had alleged that the bond issue was done in such a way to favour an associate of the finance minister.

The Minority, at a press conference addressed by its Finance Spokesperson, Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, alleged that the issuance was done in secrecy, denying other investors an opportunity to participate in the bond.

However, the ministry, in a statement, said: “Hon Cassiel Ato Forson, a former Deputy Finance Minister, knows very well the workings and processes for the issue of domestic bonds and as such, should not be making such baseless allegations.

“The allegations are maliciously designed to malign and negate the positive news and rave reviews this landmark transaction has garnered, both locally and internationally.

“The issuance was not shrouded in secrecy nor was it “cooked” for any particular investor”.

“The Bookrunners, (Barclays, Stanbic and SAS), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance have been mandated since 2015 to issue these domestic bonds on a regular basis as per the debt issuance calendar which Ministry of Finance (MoF) puts out every quarter.

“Also the book runners announce and publish every impending bond issue to the market, the week of issue and provide price guidance to the market. This particular bond issue was no different and was done in conformity with the established process. It was announced by the Book Runners to the market on March 30, via email and same published on MoF and Bank of Ghana (BoG) websites with settlement on April 3,” the statement said.

Continuing, the ministry explained that it was not only Franklin Templeton that participated, insisting that there were over 25 other buyers including other foreign entities, who all brought in dollars to convert to cedis to buy the bonds.

“This bond issue, like all the others done prior could not have been designed to favour any single investor. The conventional processes for the issue of bonds using the book building approach were adhered to in this particular issuance. It is our understanding that the said investor engaged various market participants and other key institutions including the IMF before deciding to participate in the bonds. It is worth noting that local investors also participated.

“To have obtained preferential treatment, all the above mentioned institutions would have had to conspire to do so, a situation which is unfathomable. The investor in question, FT, has held Government of Ghana bonds of up to USD 2 Billion prior to this transaction. Indeed FT has been buying and investing in government bonds since 2006″, the statement said.

On allegations that parliamentary approval was not obtained, the ministry explained that the bond, like all other domestic bonds issued under this bond program since 2015, did not require Parliamentary approval.

“Approval was given under the initial application to Parliament in the 2015 Budget Statement and Economic Policy document, to run such a bond issuance program. The Ministry of Finance has the mandate to fund the deficit as contained in the budget approved by Parliament through the issuance of debt instruments and to manage the countries debt stock”, the statement added.


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Akufo-Addo re-nominates 15 rejected MDCEs

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has re-nominated 15 persons who were earlier rejected as MDCEs by their various assemblies.

Also nominated are five new persons for the positions of Municipal and District Chief Executives.

The re-nominated MDCEs appointments are however subject to the approval of members of their various assemblies.

According to a press release signed by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, the president made the nominations in accordance with Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 20 (1) of the Local Governance Act (Act 936).

The new nominees are Musah Issah for the Gushegu District Assembly, Abu Mohammed, West Mamprusi District Assembly, Hajia Hawa Ninchemah, Bawku Municipal Assembly; Kwasi Bonzoh, Ellembele District Assembly and Kate Ametefe for Adaklu District Assembly.

The 15 re-nominated MDCEs are George Kyei Baffour, Asante Akim Central Municipal Assembly, Abraham Mbanye, Sene East District Assembly, Felicia Aba Hagan, Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese District Assembly, Florence Governor, Ayensuano District Assembly, Ebenezer Tetteh Kupaulor, Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly, Jennifer Dede Afagbedzi, La Nkwantanag Madina Municipal Assembly, Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, Ada East District Assembly and J.K. Alhassan, Bunkprugu-Yunyoo District Assembly.

Others are Ella Boateng, South Dayi District Assembly, Richard Collins Arku, North Tongu District Assembly, Andrew Teddy Ofori, Hohoe Municipal Assembly, Millicent Kabuki Carboo, Biakoye District Assembly, Leonelson Adzidogah, Akatsi South District Assembly, Emmanuel Louis Agama, South Tongu District Assembly and Eric Muah, Jomoro District Assembly.


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I did my job very well, Omane Boamah reacts to allegations he caused NDC defeat

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The report of the Prof Kwesi Botchwey committee on the election defeat of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, has continued to generate reactions across the country, as the immediate past Minister of Communications, Omane Boamah, has denied allegations that he kept away vital information to himself which led to the defeat of the party at the 2016 elections.

The former minister was reacting to allegations by a prominent member of the party, Dr. Ibrahim Zuberu that he and the former Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, were to be partly blamed for the defeat of NDC.

According to Dr. Zuberu, Omane Boamah and Seth Terkper refused to give out vital information to party communicators to counter the claims of the the opposition party, New Patriotic Party, NPP.

However, Boamah, in his response, insisted that he did his job very well as communications minister.

“This is untrue and most unfortunate, particularly at this time that our great party the National Democratic Congress is embarking on a healing process to recapture power in 2020”, he said, adding that he did his best possible to relay every information that was available to the ministry and fit for public consumption.

He further said he published a book “Accounting to the People”, which was also known as the Greenbook, outlining government’s achievements.

He also disclosed that speaking notes were regularly provided on topical issues to communicators on several platforms which included platforms with elected Executives of NDC, and that he also disseminated press statements widely on topical issues.

“I am guided by the tone and spirit of our noble and collective desire to heal, rejuvenate, reorganize, and to recapture power in the next three years and six months ahead” he added.


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NDC chieftain disappointed with Botchwey report

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A chieftain of the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, and former Municipal Chief Executive, MCE, for Ejuisu/Juaben in the Ashanti Region, Yaw Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh, has expressed disappointment with the report of the Prof Kwesi Botchwey Committee.

According to Ponkoh, the report should have also named stalwarts of the party who were entrusted responsibilities and whose actions led to the defeat the party suffered at the 2016 elections.

He further noted that it was an open secret that the actions and inactions of some of the party’s top shots led to the defeat of the party, wondering why the committee’s report was silent on them.

“I didn’t understand some sections of the report, it didn’t communicate what I wanted to hear.

“People were given a whole lot of responsibilities so they had to have been told to account for the specific assignments of helping Mahama…the fact is that the people given specific assignments failed to perform and the report should have indicted those who were given specific assignments but failed to perform”, he said.

Continuing, the former MCE, said: “The party set up campaign teams before the elections, is the report saying one or two persons failed to perform and that their failure contributed to the defeat of the party…these persons should be named and shamed and that is what the report fails to do…people who are given special duties but failed to perform must be named and shamed and the report is silent on it and that is my worry”, he added.

The 13 member Botchwey committee was set up by the NDC to unearth circumstances that culminated into the party’s disgraceful defeat at the polls in 2016.

The committee presented its report to the party on Monday June 19, 2017, reporting that weak intellectual and research base played a key role in the party’s defeat in the 2016 elections.


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