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General News of Thursday, 25 March 2021


Be considerate on Ofori-Atta, he’s ready to serve – Afenyo-Markin tells Appointments Committee

Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, Effutu MP Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, Effutu MP

Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, (NPP, Effutu MP), is pleading with the Appointments Committee of Parliament to be considerate when vetting the Finance Minister nominee when he appears before the Committee today because he is ready to serve the nation.

According to him, Ken Ofori-Atta who is recovering from a post-COVID-19 complication is not the same as a Ken Ofori-Atta who is already fit and hearty, therefore, the Committee should be sympathetic.

“In the past, as a Committee, we worked in an atmosphere of co-operation, mutual respect. I believe that we would put up the same posture. Of course, a person recovering from an ailment is not the same as a person already-fit and hearty. So, we all know our culture, we are sympathetic when people are unwell and the fact that by courageous spirit, he is ready to serve his nation,” Afenyo-Markin told Joy News in a report monitored by GhanaWeb.

The Deputy Majority Leader, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Appointments Committee expressed his excitement that the nominee despite his ill-health still accepted to serve his nation as a Minister of State.

“Nobody would want to see a brother or a friend on a sickbed. So, we are happy he is back hearty and ready to serve his nation. To somebody, he would give up and say ‘let me think about myself' so this should tell you how patriotic he is.

“This is a man coming from a family that is known for public service, dedication to national duty. His father, his uncles, his grandpas were all part of the struggle to make Ghana a better place. So that is in his DNA regardless of what somebody may think, he is ready to serve his nation,” he said.

Afenyo-Markin noted that, at the vetting, the nominee will be addressing some reports that criticized the Akufo-Addo administration during its first term when he served in the same capacity as the Finance Minister.

He said, “I am happy that we are finally going to vet him…and give him the opportunity to tell his story – what he did as a Minister for the period that President Akufo-Addo appointed him – what plans he has for the future of our economy in the midst of this Covid, the strategies in place to create opportunity for the private sector and for the economy generally to grow.”

“We are looking forward to him using the platform to clarify what could as well be propaganda in the air poisoning the atmosphere and all those things,” he added.

Afenyo-Markin did not disclose the time limit for Ken Ofori-Atta’s vetting but stated, “…we have not set a time yet for nominees. Others spent 45 minutes, others spent 30 minutes, an hour, two hours, and all that so let us see how it goes.”

During the first term of President Akufo-Addo’s administration, he was criticized for the decision to incorporate a company, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited, in Jersey near the UK, to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years.

In exchange, the firm will list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges later this year and raise at least $500 million for government to invest in infrastructure, health and education.

The listing will allow private people to buy a 49 per cent stake in the firm.

Former Special Prosecutor, Martin A.B.K. Amidu, therefore, commenced investigations into the Agyapa Mineral Royalties transaction.

In a letter of September 10, 2020, addressed to the clerk of Parliament, the Special Prosecutor said the investigation was in line with his office’s mandate to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption.

“I write in pursuant to Sections 2(1) c, 29 and 73 of Act 959 and Regulation 31 (1) and (2) of L. I. 2374 mandating the Office to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption, to request you to provide this office with information and all documents related to and/or in connection with the approval given by Parliament to the Agyapa Royalty Transaction to assist this office to execute its prevention of corruption object,” the letter from the Special Prosecutor to Parliament said.

The Special Prosecutor urged Parliament to ensure, “timeous compliance with this statutory notice”.

Ken Ofori-Atta who travelled out of the country due to health-related issues but will this morning be facing the 26-member Appointments Committee chaired by First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu.