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Opinions of Friday, 2 February 2018

Columnist: Issah Fuseini

Current Minority in Parliament gradually losing credibility

The CHRAJ report should have puts to rest the unnecessary speculation by a section of the population, especially the Minority in Parliament and the NDC Party about wrong-doings on the part of the Minister for Finance in issuing the bonds meant to restructure our debt portfolio, and thus provide the government the fiscal space to position the economy on a solid economic footing in order to improve the fortunes of the economy and the well-being of the people.

But the minority keep shifting goal post in a plethora of allegations raised against the finance minister and the Attorney General, the Minority claim the rate at which the bond was sold had been "cooked" to favour the buyer and that the deal was shrouded in secrecy to prevent others from bidding to buy the bond. But after requesting and being granted more time by CHRAJ to respond to the allegations by the petitioner, the Finance Ministry, through the Attorney General, dismissed all the allegations and further provide them with evidence to support their case.

But as usual of the opposition party NDC, they keeping shifting goal post in other to hold to the issue. Now is not about screwing the deal for his personal interest, is about his failure to declare all his assets to nation. Critically examining the content of the report, it is crystal clear, that the Complainant only embarked upon an expedition to nowhere, trying mischievously to dent the enviable reputation of the Minister for Finance, who is a known colossus within the financial circles not only domestically, but also globally.

If you ask my opinion, I will say it is clear from the ruling that the petitioner was either engaging in propaganda or malice or did not understand the Bond issuing process. Because of you understand the rules or Bond issuing process very well, you would not put your credibility on line to protest the finance minister when knowing very well that he did the right thing. According to the final report from the CHRAJ, neither did the personal interests of either the Ministry of Finance or the Minister for Finance interfere with the performance of their duties and functions.

In their statement, the finance minister quoted article 82 of 1992 constitution, saying that, the Bond needed to pass through parliament for approval, and that the finance minister erred in that direction. He go back and read the constitution very well, the minister of finance did not involved government of Ghana, what they needed were to provide the transaction announcement, the issuance calendar, price guidelines and issuance summery document. That is the format of the book building process so there is nothing like an agreement between Ghana government or Franklin Templeton or all the other participants. There are top guys in the NDC on the side of the minority as well as in the party who know this business very well, they initiated it, they know how the domestic bond transaction works and they know that there is nothing called an agreement.

After investigations have conducted, which included interviews with the parties involved, industry players, transaction advisors, security brokers and the Registrar General., and the review of guidelines, regulations, laws, and other documents, CHRAJ concluded that, “On the basis of the evidence available to the Commission, it has come to the conclusion and therefore holds that the allegations by the complainant that the respondent has contravened Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution by putting himself in a conflict of interest situation in relation to the issuance of the 5-year, 7-year, 10-year and 15-year bonds, have not been substantiated. Case closed