Finance Minister asked to appear before Parliament

Mr.Ken Ofori-Atta

Mr.Ken Ofori-Atta

Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has given Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, who is currently out of the country, a week to appear before the House to furnish it with the information the Minority is seeking from his outfit.

 

The Minority in Parliament had moved a motion requesting the Finance Minister to furnish the House with the full compliments of documentation regarding the controversial $US 2.25 billion issued earlier this year.

 

The motion sought to prevail on Mr Ofori Atta to provide detailed information on the issuance, participants, utilisation of the proceeds of the bond and the currency in which it was issued.

 

The issuance of the bond is currently under investigations by Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over possible conflict of interest and the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America.

 

Moving the motion in Parliament yesterday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the Minority decided to bring the matter to the floor of Parliament because “it is a matter of great public interest.”

 

According to Mr Iddrisu, who is MP for Tamale South, the Public Financial Management Act and Article 181 enjoin the Finance Minister to bring the deal before the House for approval “but this has not happened.”

 

“We have official statement to the effect that the US$ 2.25 billion has been released. We have passed the Appropriation Act and any other expenditure, pursuant to it, must have the attention of this August House,” Mr. Iddrisu added.

 

Seconding the motion after initially turning down the invitation by the Minority to do so, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the motion could only mean nothing than being in compliance with the preamble of the 1992 Constitution which espouses the principles of transparency and accountability in governance.

 

He recollected that in the past, similar attempts to have deals in the nature of this topical bond issuance investigated were turned down by the then Majority who are now in the Minority, and urged the House to move away from such acts of ‘authoritarianism’ going forward.

 

“We should be all supportive of the motion moved by the Minority Leader and encourage the Minister of Finance to come to the House [with the information] because nobody should have anything to hide.

 

“We represent the people of this country so if there is a call for the minister to make disclosure to the representatives of the people, we should encourage that,” the Suame MP said.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

 

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