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Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Parliament summons Finance Minister over $2.25bn bond

Parliament has passed a half hour motion to compel the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to provide detailed information on the recent 2.25 billion dollar bond issued by Government.

The Minister is expected to respond to the motion within one week.

The motion was filed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, with a request for the full complement of documentation related to the issuance, the participants, the utilization of proceeds and the currency in which the bond was settled.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, while speaking on the floor of Parliament, said because the House approved the Appropriation Bill, any government expenditure in relation to that must come to Parliament.

“Mr. Speaker, the Public financial management Act and Article 181 of the constitution naturally would have enjoined the Minister of Finance to have demonstrated respect to the House by submitting same for the House’s scrutiny and approval. That has not happened. But we have official statements to the effect that GHc9.7 billion of $2.25 billion has been released. We passed the appropriate Act; [hence] any other expenditure pursuant to it must have the attention of this august house,” he added.

The motion was seconded by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, who said the move will help bring a close to the unending controversy over the bond.

Meaning of half hour motion

A half hour motion is permitted by Order 49 of the Standing Orders of Parliament. It is simply a motion moved thirty minutes before the end of a Parliamentary sitting.

This is the first time it is being moved in the Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana. Background Concerns were raised about the transparency of the $2.25 billion domestic bond government issued, with some noting that the apparent secrecy over the deal fueled the allegations of conflict of interest against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.

The Minority in its conflict of interest allegations, said a non-executive director on the board of Investment Firm, Franklin Templeton, who purchased 95 percent of the $2.25 billion bond, is also the Chairman of the Enterprise Group, which has links to the Attorney-General and the Finance Minister. The Minority eventually called for a full-scale parliamentary probe into the bond issue.

I don’t have details on bond

The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo who was petitioned by Private Legal Practitioner, Victor Adawudu to furnish him with details on the bond which was issued in April said she did not have the needed information. She indicated that details on the said bond the Lawyer is seeking to retrieve, are unavailable to her.

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