$2.25bn bond saga: Finance Minister came to do ‘PR gimmick’ in parliament – Suhuyini

Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini[/caption] Member of Parliament for Tamale North Constituency, Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini has mocked Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s response on the $2.25bn bond saga on the floor of Parliament, describing it as a “PR gimmick”. According to the Tamale North lawmaker, the Finance Minister came to Parliament to play to the gallery, as the issues he responded to were never part of the motion which summoned him to the house to provide full disclosure on the controversial bond. Early this month, Finance Minister appeared before Parliament to respond to an urgent motion summoning him before the house to provide detailed information on the $2.5bn bond which was issued by Government some months ago. Ken Ofori-Attah, in responding to the issue in Parliament, stated that the issuance was transparent and was done in accordance with the laid down procedures governing the issuance of bond and government securities in the country, adding that there was no conflict of interest, as he “had no direct dealings with the investors” as alleged by the minority in Parliament. He explained that all prospective bidders bid through their primary dealers, who in turn submitted the investors’ bids through the Central Securities Depository platform, adding that at no time during the book building process did the Ministry of Finance negotiate with any investor in any way, and it will indeed be quite difficult to manipulate the process when the three financial institutions are governed strictly by the Bank of Ghana’s rules and regulations. But in an interview with Onua FM’s morning show host Bright Kwesi Asempa, the Tamale North MP, stated that he was surprised to see the Finance Minister appeared before the House with unsigned documents which he said have nothing to do with the substantive bond issue. Alhassan Suhuyini noted that the documents brought by Ken Ofori-Atta are those that can be found on the Central Bank’s website that students download for their exams. “Government knew at the time that they are under pressure from both Ghanaians and foreign investors over the $2.25 billion-dollar bond issue, so the best they could do was to send him (Ken Ofori-Atta) to come and ask his own questions and answer them. It was just a PR gimmick. I know they have no justification and we will use all the avenues available to unravel the mysteries surrounding this bond,” the Tamale legislator revealed. Although it was evident that nobody in the NDC referred to Franklyn Templeton as a person, the Finance Minister conveniently insisted that the minority was talking about an individual which was continuation of what the NPP communicators started on social media, the former talk show host asserted. He further alleged that it is the belief of the minority NDC that the $2.25 billion-dollar bond is a “family and friend cooked up bond” which must be exposed for what it is.

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By Bright Dzakah/Onua 95.1FM/3news.com  ]]>