Economist urges Ken Ofori Atta to resign over US$2.25bn bond

Economist Dr. Lord Mensah has impressed on Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta to vacate his post over claims that he breached sections of the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) in the issuance of the 2.25 billion dollar bond.

In his view, the move could partly be blamed on the relatively high-interest rate the bond attracted.

“If you know very well that concentrating on the bond and it has caused the nation in terms of interest rate that is being paid unnecessarily; at a point when interest rate can even get to a level of nine percent and they are still paying 19 percent then it is a cost to the nation,” he exclaimed.

He added that “As a finance minister and a manager of the economy’s purse, you understand very well the ideal thing to do. Sorting for finance should diversify the sources. More or less that will trigger the pricing of the fund in terms of interest that is supposed to be paid on them”.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) concluded in its investigative report that Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta breached certain procedures in the issuance of the bond last year.

CHRAJ, however, found no concrete evidence of conflict of interest against the Minister.

But Dr. Lord Mensah insists the minister must be firm to do the honorable thing and resign.

“But then and therefore if I were to be a minister, I would have done the honorable thing by resigning” he stated.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in its report found that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, breached certain processes in the issuance of the government’s $2.25bn bond last year.

CHRAJ, in its investigation of a conflict of interest allegation leveled against Ken Ofori Atta by a known member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Brogya Genfi, said although it found no concrete evidence on conflict of interest against the Minister, he [Ken Ofori-Atta] breached several procedures.

On the substantive matter of conflict of interest however, CHRAJ cleared Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta of any wrongdoing, stating 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,” it said in its report on the matter.”

Source: Citi Business News

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