New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for Ofoase Ayeribi says Finance Minster, Seth Terkper committed a financial atrocity against Ghana when he transferred $250 million from the Central Bank to a commercial bank.
Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said there was no viable explanation for the decision which he said has imposed a huge cost on the nation.
He was analysing the transfer of part of a $1billion Eurobond proceeds from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to United Bank for Africa (UBA) on JOYNEWS’ political discussion programme, Minority Caucus which also had investment guru, Yoofi Grant on the panel.
The issue appears to have become a hot potato for the Finance Minister who has come under intense pressure to provide a more convincing explanation for the action.
A press conference followed by the release of a press statement have so far proven insufficient to douse the raging debate over the issue.
The $250 million was set aside for the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) but had to be transferred to UBA because the GIIF was not yet ready.
The opposition NPP wants a number of questions answered – when was the money given to the Ghana Infrastructural Investment Fund? When did the Fund’s Committee meet to agree on where the money must be transferred and what were the competing bids?
NPP vice-presidential candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia last week at a forum at the Accra polytechnic speaking on unemployment talked about how actions of government have not inured to the benefit of Ghanaians.
The former Deputy Governor of BoG bemoaned how this contributes to the unemployment woes of the youth in the country.
He revealed how some $250 million from the Eurobond meant to be seed capital for the GIIF was moved to UBA only for government go back and borrow it.
Journalist-turned-politician, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said Ghana would have continued to bleed financially had Dr. Bawumia not disclosed it.
He described as rash, the swiftness with which government communicators attack Dr. Bawumia and call him names whenever he raises issues about the financial management of the government.
He advised his political opponents to stick to facts when issues as this come up and not try to, “bastardize it to make it look like someone does not understand.”
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah recounted discussions about the GIIF at a meeting at Movenpick in Accra with Sanusi Lamido, then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the veep Paa Kwesi Amissah in attendance.
He said Sanusi told the government the GIIF idea won’t work because the taxpayer was already paying for infrastructural development without any need for another bureaucratic body. That advice, he believes, was ignored, creating the current problems.
Contributing to the discussion, an investment banker, Yoofi Grant said he found it bizarre that in an era where teachers and nurses are going on strike, people are screaming of government bills not being paid, contractors complaining about not being paid for work done etc government had ‘idle’ funds sitting in the BoG.
He questioned the rationale behind what he describes as ‘double jeopardy’ of government taking money for supposed development when in actual sense government knew there is an interest accruing on the money it does not need and yet it went ahead to borrow it.
He added that the GIIF was supposed to source its own funds and not rely on government