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General News of Tuesday, 25 May 2021


Vetting: It is not my duty to give govt good ministers – Haruna

Haruna Iddrisu is the Minority Leader in Parliament Haruna Iddrisu is the Minority Leader in Parliament

Minority Leader has said it is not his duty to give the Akufo-Addo administration good ministers.

He said this when asked by TV3’s Evelyn Tengmaa in an interview on Monday May 24 as to why his side, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the Appointments Committee of Parliament approved Mr Ofori-Atta as the Finance Minister after he raised concerns about Mr Ofori-Atta during the first term of President Akufo-Addo.

He had said “Also take note of Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance. Every government receivable has been mortgaged, GETFund receivables mortgaged, Ghana Exim bank receivables mortgaged, NHIS is running on bonds.”

You went ahead to approve the finance minister when you knew all these things about him, Evelyn said to him.

But in answer, the Tamale South lawmaker said “Are those sufficient to say that you don’t approve of a person? I leave that answer to you.”

He added “It is not my duty as Minority Leader to give government good ministers, it is not my duty. I only acted in accordance with law and in accordance with the constitution.”

He further questioned the decision by the government to spend huge moneys in establishing a new bank rather than using the money to support the banks that were collapsed during the recapitalization exercise.

He said “We need to debate it thoroughly. Why didn’t the Minister of Finance borrow to save those other banks or those other financial institutions in the country?

“He has collapsed several banks at a cost of 23bn and still counting. They just needed Four Hundred million for the recapitalization. You have ADB and NIB haemorrhaging financially instead of providing liquidity and capital for them, you are borrowing to set up a bank. To do what? What is it that NIB and ADB cannot do if they are given capital support.”

The Ministry of Finance and the European Investment Bank have signed an agreement for the provision of a one hundred- and seventy-million-euro (€170 million) facility for the establishment of a new national bank, the Development Bank Ghana (DBG).

DBG is an integral feature of the GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares ‘Obaatampa’ Project, which is seeing to the revitalization of the Ghanaian economy following the onset of COVID-19.

This event took place on Wednesday, 19th May 2021, when the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, held a meeting with the President of the European Investment Bank, Dr. Werner Hoyer, as part of his official visit to Belgium.

The €170 million facility, according Dr. Hoyer, is the largest facility provided by the European Investment Bank for the establishment of a development bank in Africa or for any other project, for that matter, on the continent.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Akufo-Addo noted that “the Development Bank Ghana is going to play a very important part in the rapid economic transformation of Ghana, following the onset of COVID-19.”

According to him, “We want to restructure the economy, and move it from being a mere producer and exporter of raw materials, to one that places much greater emphasis on value addition activities. We see this Bank (DBG) as one that will play a pivotal role in this”.

The President indicated that the design and operation of the Bank, “which has been on the drawing board for the last two years”, will satisfy the highest standards, scrutiny and best practices of Development Banks across the world, assuring further that the €170 million facility from the EIB will be used for the purposes for which it was sought.”

President Akufo-Addo reiterated that the provision of this facility signals the determination of Ghana to continue partnering with the EU, with the President informing Dr. Hoyer that Ghana will fall on the EIB to continue to finance other projects in the pipeline, as the country works to recover from the impact of COVID-19.