Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Both Parliament And Hon Ken Ofori-Atta Should Address Conflict Of Interest Allegations Raised By NDC Over U.S.$ 2.25 Billion Bond Issue

The conflict of interest allegations involving the minister of finance, Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, regarding the government's controversy-ridden U.S.$2.25 billion bond issue, being made by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), should be addressed by Parliament. Quickly.

On its part, the Akufo-Addo administration should see it as a blessing in disguise - one that offers the government the opportunity to reassure the nation and the world that it is serious about fighting corruption.

What is important is that going forward into the future, to avoid any such suspicions from arising again, active steps will be taken by the current administration to assure Ghanaians that there will always be transparency in all such transactions.

Deeds not words should be  the guiding principle.

The question then is: What has Hon Ken Ofori-Atta (and other ministers, incidentally) done to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest in his work as Ghana's finance minister - given his private-sector business background?

Although many of us don't doubt his commitment to protecting his nation's best interests at all material times, it might be wise and politically prudent for him to tell the nation exactly how he has ensured that there will be no conflict of interest situations that will disadvantage the Republic of Ghana in his work.

That will be reassuring for the many fair-minded and patriotic Ghanaians who want this administration to succeed for the sake of all Ghanaians and Mother Ghana.

One wishes him well - but since we will not experience rule by saints any time soon in our homeland Ghana, perforce, we will watch his team with eagle eyes.

It is important that the world does not get the impression that Ghana is a banana republic - in which crony-capitalism is rife and ruling party private militias act as violent enforcers for powerful extremist politicians with impunity.

That will discourage ethical investors of the patient kind whose money will help expand our national economy - and for whom an environment  in which transparency is treasured by society, and the rule of law and due process are paramount, matters.

That is why it will  be prudent for both Parliament and Hon Ken Ofori-Atta himself to  address all the conflict of interest issues raised by the NDC in this matter, directly, as soon as practicable. The sooner the better.
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