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General News of Saturday, 22 April 2017


$2.2bn bond deal ‘perfectly transparent’ – Casely Hayford

A financial analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford has said that the transaction between the government and Franklin Templeton in the issuance of the $2 billion bond is perfectly transparent and smacks of no wrongdoing as being suggested by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According to him, the government did nothing wrong in the transaction that has been heavily criticised by the opposition.

The Minority in Parliament have accused the government of setting the terms of the bond to favour some friends of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.

It said, Trevor Trefgarne, a director at Franklin Templeton, the institution that purchased 95 percent of the bond is also a Director at Enterprise Group Limited, a private financial institution the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta co-founded.

But speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis program, The Big Issue on Saturday, Casely-Hayford said there was no case of conflict of interest in the transaction as the NDC suggested.

He said, “the bond is issued by the Central Bank, it is not issued by Ken Ofori Atta…The bottom line is this, the transaction is perfectly transparent because it is done through the Central Bank, and anybody who wants to know, you can go to the Central Bank today and you can find the list of all the bonds they plan to issue.”

He further questioned the Minority’s moral right to criticize the government over the issuance of the bond.

He argued that the NDC, while in government, awarded “sizeable and juicy” contracts to Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Mahama.

“The conflict of interest issue occurs all over and has occurred all over this landscape that we have today. The question we have to ask is, is the NDC qualified to come now and criticize what is going on, when previously, there have been instances in which they themselves have been involved and in which they have never discussed.”

“Take for instance, you are the President of this country and your brother happens to be one of the major players in construction in the country and he keeps winning major contracts, sizeable ones, juicy ones, is it a conflict of interest?” he quizzed.

Meanwhile, the Vice President, Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia, has expressed shock at what he calls the ignorance of the Minority in Parliament over their allegations on the recent $2.2bn bond issued by the government.

According to him, the Minority’s position on the matter clearly shows that they are uninformed.

In an interview with the Citi News’ Vivian Kai Lokko in Washington, Dr. Bawumia said the members of the Minority need education on the subject to fully understand the matter.