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Business News of Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Source: citibusinessnews.com

Minority demands full disclosure of judgment debt beneficiaries

The Minority in parliament is demanding full disclosure of companies and individuals that benefited from about 300 million judgment debt announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

Mr. Ofori-Atta last week told parliament government has paid about 300 million cedis as judgment debt most of which were inherited by the Nana Addo government.

But speaking to Citi Business News, a former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson argued that some of the payments are questionable, hence require further probing.

“A minister cannot come to parliament and make a general statement that they have paid an amount of 285 million Ghana Cedis being judgment debt. He has a responsibility to give us the breakdown as to who the Ministry of Finance has paid,” he stressed.

Mr. Forson added that some of the names mentioned by the Finance Minister as beneficiaries require a full publication and more details of the terms under which the government incurred such debts.

“We are hearing on authority that they have paid the likes of McDan, they have paid Bank Switch and even the Special Prosecutor an amount of judgment debt. As to whether they qualify to receive that amount, it’s something we have to investigate it and that is why I requested from the Minister responsible for Finance to give us the breakdown,” he argued.

He pointed out for example that the Finance Minister did not have to pay about 80 million cedis to a company known as Bank Switch in judgment debt since the deal was renegotiated under the erstwhile Mahama administration.

“My argument is, in the case of Bank Switch and you will notice that the Minister in his answer said that about 80 million Ghana Cedis was paid to one particular company and I suspect that is Bank Switch and that is why I asked that question because if it is for Bank switch, Bank Switch does not deserve that 80 million because before we left office we had negotiated with Bank Switch that we are not going to pay that 80 million Ghana Cedis as interest”.