The government has cited the Minority MPs for conscious, systematic efforts designed to create negative public sentiments against especially the Finance Minister.
According to Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament in a series of news conferences, have consistently levelled unsubstantiated allegations against Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.
The Minority led by Haruna Iddrisu on Tuesday held a news conference and accused the government of breaching the procurement laws by awarding a contract to a private company, McDan Shipping.
“There is a breach of the procurement process …..it is clear that this government is not respecting procurement laws,” he called the attention of the media.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu
The Minority said the Finance Minister also approved a GHȻ10million loan from adb Bank to McDan Shipping, again without the approval of the Board.
Reacting to the issue raised by the Minority on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday, the Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah observed, the NDC is on a mission “with the objective of making accusations that the Finance Ministry or the Finance Minister, has done something untoward or has been in a conflict of interest position.”
“And every time, we in government make the point that it is a deliberate strategy just to create negative sentiments and there’s nothing else [in it]. There’s no substance to it,” Mr. Nkrumah told Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show.
The Deputy Minister clarified: “The bank did its normal business and decided that its client [McDan Shipping] was qualified to do this business.”
According to Mr. Nkrumah, the management of adb Bank bank requested approval from significant shareholders of the bank for McDan’s loan application.
He said the Finance Minister who is the custodian of Government’s 34% shares in the bank, simply replied to the bank’s request for approval for the credit facility to McDan Shipping Company which had secured a contract from the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).
He said it became necessary for the management of adb to seek shareholders’ approval because its board of directors was yet to be constituted. The Minister, therefore, sanctioned the transaction subject to due diligence by the management of the bank, the Deputy Minister stressed.
Responding to the Minority’s allegation that the contract to McDan was awarded on single sourcing in violation of the procurement laws, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said, “COCOBOD has a pool of clearing agents that it uses to clear some of its items that come to the ports…within this pool is the company McDan and it is pursuant to that, that COCOBOD gave that allocation for them to go clear their things at the port.
“This is being interpreted as a contract has been awarded and therefore it should have gone for tender etc…it’s never been the case,” he explained.
“Nothing untoward has happened in this case,” he affirmed.
…the idea is to throw this thing up, occupy the news for 48hours and then after that, they abandon this one too and move on,” claimed the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi constituency in the Eastern Region.
In defence of their position, Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Isaac Adongo described the Finance Minister as “the biggest threat to Ghana’s financial market,” warning that “any attempt to try and paint a picture of a minority that is only choosing matters and running away from them, will endanger the financial market.”
The Member for Bolga East Constituency in the Upper East Region said they are worried about “how the Minister of Finance is systematically positioning himself and having a stranglehold on the financial market to engage in the kind of things that will collapse the confidence of the financial market.”
He said the Finance minister who founded investment bank, Databank, is giving his close associates government jobs and positions. He pointed to the appointment of Vice President of Databank, Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh as the new Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Play attached audio to listen to an excerpt of the interview: