Ken Ofori-Atta approved by Appointments Committee

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Parliament will on Monday approve the nomination of Ken Ofori-Atta as finance minister by voice vote, following his approval by consensus at the Appointment Committee level. 

Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu told journalists said though some committee members were not present, both minority and majority members present voted in favour of Mr. Ofori-Atta’s approval.

He chairman explained that consensus approval means the minister-designate will be approved by voice vote and not by secret balloting.

The report of the Appointment Committee stating the approval of the finance minister, was laid laid in Parliament on Saturday, but due to be taken today, Monday.

Earlier reports suggested the Minority was planning to reject and abstain from the approval of Mr Ofori-Atta after their party members berated them over the approval of some three nominees.

Meanwhile, during the vetting, Ken Ofori-Atta was confronted with the controversial Agyapa deal and the Corruption Risk Assessment Report by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, and his response was damning of the Special Prosecutor.

Martin Amidu’s report described the deal as being laced with potential corruption, but Finance Minister said Amidu did a “disservice” to him [Ken Ofori-Atta] and to Ghana by not giving him the opportunity to respond to the issues raised in the report.

“There is a bit of cynicism around the Agyapa transaction. I think that for Martin Amidu’s report on it to be put out to the public without a chance by people like me to discuss it is a disservice,” Ken Ofori-Atta said.

Currently, the Agyapa deal is with the Attorney-General, who is reviewing it for resubmission to Parliament, and Ken Ofori-Atta is confident the A-G’s review will prove them right.

But the Minority has stated that, as far as they are concerned, the deal is dead on arrival.

The Agyapa Royalties deal is intended to sell some 49% shares in Ghana’s gold royalties on the London stock market to raise some US$1 billion for development and debt servicing.

The architects of the deal believe that since Ghana is a leading gold producer, it was better to find a more creative way of using the gold royalties as a leverage to raise money to boost the economy, while the investors wait to recoup their investment from the countries gold royalties.

The Minority in Parliament raised questions about what exact expense government targeted the expected US$1 billion for but the answers are yet to be providers, as persons involved in the deal treat that information as classified, so not even Parliament should know.

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