Corruption? Ken Ofori-Atta secured $2.25bn bond for friends - Minority

At a press conference held on Tuesday, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Cassiel Ato Forson said very close friends of the Finance Minister purchased ninety-five percent of the bond issued.

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Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta play

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta

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The Minority in Parliament have accused the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta of preparing Ghana’s recent 2.25 billion dollar bond for his cronies.

At a press conference held on Tuesday, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance Cassiel Ato Forson said very close friends of the Finance Minister purchased ninety-five percent of the bond issued.

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Cassiel Ato Forson claimed that a non-executive director on the board of investment firm, Franklin Templeton that purchased a majority of the bonds is also the Chairman of the Enterprise Group; a company closely aligned to the private interests of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

“Honourable Trevor Trefgarne is also a Director of Franklin Templeton which is the main participant in the recent bond issue. Putting this apparent fact together, we have a reason to believe that there was a relational interest between our Finance Minister and his good friend Trevor Trefgarne which creates a potential lack of transparency and a conflict of interest. As we all know, the constitution of the republic provides unequivocally that a public officer should not put themselves in a situation where their private interest conflicts with their public obligation. There is no record available to us to the effect that the Finance Minister made known publicly his relational interest that conflicts very much, so in the interest in his company with Trevor Trefgarne  to the extent to which the relation might have potentially affected the decision to sell majority of the bonds to Franklin Templeton.”

Former deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson play

Former deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson

 

“There is no disclosure as to the extent to which the determination of the price of the bond could have been affected by the relationship between the Finance Minister and his friends; Franklin Templeton. Now that a  good link has been established between the Finance Minister and his friend, Trevor, it is clear that the Finance Minister issued the bond in a way that will favour his friends, family and business partners. This situation is best described as cronyism and nepotism,” he added.

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On Monday (April 3, 2017) government announced the success of the auction of a total of 2.25 billion dollars in four bonds.

The first two bonds, totalling 1.13 billion dollars, was issued at 15 and 7 years period with the same coupon of 19.75%.

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