Deputy Chief Scribe for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho is blaming President Akufo-Addo’s government for the recent media blitzkrieg on Franklin Templeton Investments over the $2.25 billion bond saga.
He strongly asserts the current administration did not go through the proper means in concluding the transaction.
According to Koku Anyidoho, though the country has floated several bonds in the past, it is remarkable the way Akufo-Addo government’s announcement of this transaction has generated such controversy.
The Ministry of Finance has described attacks on the $2.25 billion bond issued recently as baseless with the Minority group in parliament, led by former Deputy Finance Minister, Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson alleging that the issuance was done in secrecy, denying other investors an opportunity to participate in the bond.
The Minority further alleged that the transaction was “cooked” to favour a particular investor, Franklin Templeton, while the transaction did not receive parliamentary approval.
But responding in a press release, the Ministry of Finance lashed out that “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,” it said.
In their response, the Ministry explained that “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.”
But reacting to this on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show, the Deputy General Secretary for the NDC pontificated there are so many issues which are not clear about the bond especially the alleged $17 million interest on the bond.
“There are so many issues which are not clear on the bond and that is why we are calling for full disclosure . . . today if Franklin Templeton should pull out of this deal, Ken Ofori-Atta will have a lot to explain to Ghanaians,” he averred.
He however recalled that during the eras of Dr. Kwabena Dufuor and Seth Terpker as Finance Ministers respectively, there were constant media interactions either by themselves or their deputies to speak clearly on the various bonds under their regimes, but the same cannot be said about Ken Ofori-Atta under Akufo-Addo’s government.
“So why is that under Akufo-Addo, it is as if the Finance Ministry is occupied by ghosts? Even press release, there is no one to sign it except to attribute it to the entire Finance Ministry. Is the Finance Ministry a human being?”, he quizzed.
He underscored that the opposition NDC and its Minority in Parliament cannot wait till 4 years before criticizing Nana Addo’s government as Ghanaians deserve to know the happenings in order to vote accordingly.
He therefore stated that the failure of NPP is not an automatic entry for the NDC to form the next government; reiterating that “if we don’t craft proper strategy, Ghanaians won’t understand what is going on with Nana Addo’s government.”