Business mogul, Dr. Kofi Amoah, has waded into the bare-faced conflict of interest situation where Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s private company, Databank Financial Services is one of the main transaction advisors for the government in the matter of government’s loan programs.
In a post on social media, Dr. Amoah who has become a crusader against the insatiable debt rampage of the Akufo Addo administration described as unethical for a company affiliated with the Finance Minister to serves as transactional advisors on government loans.
According to him, the Finance Minister could claim technicalities to exonerate himself from plausible conflict of interest situation, such a questionable privileged extended to his private company does not give a positive indication or perception about the government.
Ofori-Atta’s conflict of interest has been an issue since 2017 but recently engaged national attention again when another company owned by Minister of State-designate at the Ministry of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen, was also listed as transaction advisor for government loans.
However, after the issues came up, the Ministry of Finance has justified the engagement of the private companies of the Finance Minister and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance as government transaction advisor saying the two have officially resigned from their companies.
“What’s legal may not always be appropriate. Political leadership must set ennobling examples. The Finance Minister, the architect of Ghana’s Big Loans, must not benefit PERSONALLY in any shape or form from the loans; it’s a conflict-of-interest and violation of our sacred trust in him”, Dr. Kofi Amoah tweeted.
Dr. Amoah is the man who has been behind the campaign to get the government to stop borrowing and tackle the country’s already heavy pile of debt.
The whole talking point about Ken Ofori-Atta and Charles Adu Boahen leeching on the State through their private companies started when MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, revealed that the Ministry of Finance has named Ofori-Atta’s Databank and Adu Boahen’s Blackstar Brokerage Limited as Transaction advisors for its loans program worth some Ghc60billion.
“…They are paid 0.35 percent per value that gives you eight hundred and seventy-five million cedis in fees that Databank and the rest have had to share from the people of Ghana. This year, the government’s total gross financing requirement is about 60 billion Ghana cedis, again you can offset about ten billion of that for other financing arrangement and treasury bills in the gross financing arrangement, and you have another close to fifty billion that would be borrowed by Ken Ofori Atta and his company and Charles Adu-Boahen and his company,” Adongo calculated.
“In all, we expect payment of two hundred and ten million Ghana cedis in fees and changes to be shared by these book-runners.”
But the Finance Ministry countered by justifying that the two resigned from their private companies when they accepted positions in government.
“Mr Adu Boahen resigned from the Board and from [the] management of Black Star back in Jan 2017 immediately after he was nominated by the President as one of his Deputy Ministers for Finance. He also transferred his shares in the company to a family trust on [the] assumption of public office. Mr. Ofori-Atta resigned as Executive Chair of Databank in August 2012 and resigned from all the Databank Boards in February 2014,” the ministry said in a statement.