-As Private Companies of Finance Ministers Selected As Ghana’s Debt Midwives.
The Akufo-Addo government has published a list of transaction advisors for a slew of loans that it is borrowing from the international money market and in the details is Blackstar Brokerage Limited, a company owned by the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen.
Already, Databank Financial Services, a private company owned by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is also a transaction advisor to as the government of Ghana for the debts transactions. In this case, their companies will be making some GHC 200 million annually from commissions of Ghana’s debt.
This borderline conflict of interest means that the two most important men involved in incurring debts for Ghana have strategically placed their companies at the confluence of the transaction such that they earn commissions into their personal coffers anytime Ghana is driven into further debt.
“The duo, Ken Ofori Atta and Charles Adu Boahen have thus literally awarded to themselves through their companies the lucrative contracts that involve managing Government’s borrowing program with an estimated Ghc60 billion a year gross financing. The fees to be shared by the transaction advisors of the government borrowing program, including Ken Ofori Atta and Charles Adu Boahen’s companies, is estimated at Ghc210 million a year,” Isaac Adongo wrote, the Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, in a wailing write-up.
He points out the insider trading that such an arrangement allows the broke country.
Ken Ofori-Atta’s Data Bank and Charles Adu Boahen’s Blackstar Brokerage Limited will be at the receiving end of some Ghc210 million in fees per year to be creamed off from the Akufo-Addo Government’s borrowing program of some Ghc60 billion a year gross financing.
Adongo reiterates his concerns that the conflict of interest allows Ken Ofori-Atta to instigate State borrowing just so that his company, can keep on creaming off commissions from transaction services provided for such borrowings.
“If you ever wondered why Ghana’s public debt has since 2017 been growing at an unexplained geometric sequence, the reasons are here: Those in charge of the borrowing, stand to personally profit from the borrowing through the reward in fees to their companies who serve as their transportation advisors,” Adongo wrote.
“Whilst the corporate esteem of Ghana is on a nosedive and the future generations are being saddled with a debilitating debt, the worth of companies owned by persons at the forefront of the borrowing decisions keep soaring.”
“Appointment of Databank and Black Star Brokerage as Transaction Advisors to the Ministry of Finance is a deadly combination of Ken Ofori Atta and Charles Adu Boahen in Motion without shame,” Adongo wrote.
The duo of Ken Ofori-Atta and Charles Adu Boahen, were the central characters in the questionably cooked Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal in the first term of Akufo-Addo.
While Ofori-Atta, according to a corruption risk assessment by resigned Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, had orchestrated the use of Imara Corporate Finance of South Africa to front for Databank as transaction advisors, Adu Boahen who was then Ofor-Atta’s Deputy Minister, had taken over the powers of the Public Procurement Authority and signed authorizations to ensure that the deal went through.
Per the indictments from the resigned SP, Adu Boahen, should have been prosecuted for forging the Authority of the PPA, but after Akufo-Addo, won the 2020 elections under controversial circumstances, the man was reappointed Minister of State at the same Finance Ministry headed by Ofori-Atta.
Meanwhile, at the nexus of regulating such transactions is Rev. Ogbarmey Tetteh, another surrogate of Ken Ofori Atta, who had been the Vice President of Databank before he was appointed as the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“As a matter of fact, any complaints relating to these companies would be directed at SEC on whose Governing Board sits Charles Adu Boahen and controlled by a former Vice President of Databank, Rev Ogbamey Tetteh who masterminded policy rollout that has collapsed the securities sector of Ghana,” Isaac Adongo wrote.