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General News of Saturday, 23 November 2013


Merchant/Fortiz deal: NPP are rebels without cause - Omane Boamah

Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, has chided the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) for its resistance to the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity Fund, without any real evidence.

He says "the NPP has just decided to throw mud, they have become permit my saying, rebels without cause".

Opposition against the acquisition of state bank Merchant Bank by Fortiz Equity Fund, a wholly owned Ghanaian company has been growing.

At a news conference Thursday, the Minority in Parliament led by MP for New Juabeng South, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, said the deal was simply a fraudulent attempt by government to short-change Ghanaians.

They state a lack of due diligence in the acquisition and wonder why an offer by another company First Rand, was turned down after it was prepared to invest 176.4 million Ghana cedis for 75 percent shares in Merchant Bank.

FORTIZ is investing 90 million Ghana cedis. He also called it a "scam". The party wants more transparency about the deal.

Speaking on Newsfile Saturday, Dr. Omane Boamah said the party wants to politicize the sale because the President's brother Ibrahim Mahama is linked to the high debt portfolio of Merchant Bank which has occasioned its sale.

He argues, the deal is genuine because international auditing firm KPMG acted as transaction advisor for the deal.

"KPMG is a very credible institution," he said.

He said "a more responsible" posture the NPP could have adopted was to summon the Minister of Finance to answer questions concerning the deal.

"If it is information you are seeking, why don't you say so," he quizzed.

He expressed confidence in the deal and suggested the NPP was no match for the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) as far as prudent management of the country is concerned.

He said "If it is about project for project, program for program, policy for policy, there is no way they can beat the NDC in 2016"