One Volta Group (OVG) Commends Togbe Afede Over Refund Of Ex-Gratia

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Togbe Afede

One Volta Group, a non-partisan NGO headquartered in the United States of America, has expressed solidarity with Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, for his honorable gesture to refund excessive ex-gratia payments to state coffers.

In a Press Release issued by the Group, it noted that the news was refreshing amidst the pervasive news of economic doom and gloom that has characterized life in Ghana, Togbe deemed it an honor and a patriotic obligation to return 365,392.67 GHS to national coffers.

“… propelled primarily by a long-held conviction that appointments to serve the nation do not have to result in an undue rapacious dissipation of the nation’s coffers. We join the vast majority of Ghanaians to commend Togbe for his selfless conduct.”

Peter N Abotchie (PhD) and Anthony M Sallar (PhD), who signed the Press Release for the Group, also said, while some self-serving partisan politicians (particularly Mr. Paul Adom Otchere), operating under the banner of journalism and freedom of speech, are deploying the national airwaves to sully Togbe’s name and impugn his integrity, the majority of Ghanaians, both at home and in the diaspora, find comfort in Togbe’s honorable decision to make a bold statement against excessive compensation for casual national appointments.

Below is the Full Statement from OVG

One Volta Group Commends Togbe Afede XIV for refund of ex-gratia to the State

One Volta Group, a non-partisan NGO headquartered in the United States of America, wishes to express solidarity with Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, for his honorable gesture to refund excessive ex-gratia payments to state coffers. It is refreshing to note that amidst the pervasive news of economic doom and gloom that has characterized life in Ghana, Togbe deemed it an honor and a patriotic obligation to return 365,392.67 GHS to national coffers, propelled primarily by a long-held conviction that appointments to serve the nation do not have to result in an undue rapacious dissipation of the nation’s coffers. We join the vast majority of Ghanaians to commend Togbe for his selfless conduct.

We also take note that while some self-serving partisan politicians (particularly Mr. Paul Adom Otchere), operating under the banner of journalism and freedom of speech, are deploying the national airwaves to sully Togbe’s name and impugn his integrity, the majority of Ghanaians, both at home and in the diaspora, find comfort in Togbe’s honorable decision to make a bold statement against excessive compensation for casual national appointments. We do not forget Mr. Otchere’s own profligate expenditure of 84,000 GHS on Christmas flowers while electricity bills went unpaid as the Board Chairman of Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).

Moments of adversity present a good opportunity for the emergence of national leaders. Togbe Afede has demonstrated an enviable character of national leadership by focusing on the welfare of the nation even if it means denying himself. We hold the view that such a man does not deserve to be rubbished in the media.

Economic news coming out of Ghana presently are depressing. Frequent spikes in fuel and food prices, deteriorating cedi performance against major world currencies, pervasive unemployment and escalating poverty among the general population juxtaposed to an appetite for lavish living among the political elite and those with access to political power, have created an atmosphere of hopelessness and resignation among Ghanaians today. To the extent that Togbe’s Afede’s ethical decision to return overly excessive and lavish ex-gratia payments to national coffers offers a glimmer of hope to the nation which is plagued with profligate spending, he deserves our unalloyed support and commendation.

Togbe Afede is an accomplished leader who has received several national awards and international recognition for his business successes. His efforts to establish businesses and provide employment and services to millions of Ghanaians span various administrations including both NPP and NDC. Togbe co-founded Databank Financial Services and was the prime mover in the establishment of the Ghana Stock Exchange. He founded SAS Finance Group Ltd (a stock brokerage and corporate finance advisory firm), SAS Investment Management Ltd (an asset management firm), Strategic Initiatives Ltd (a portfolio and private equity investment firm), and also co-founded Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Ltd (a 560-megawatt power plant), and Africa World Airlines Ltd. The foregoing account is ample evidence of Togbe Afede’s unquestionable commitment to the development of Ghana.

We further note that Togbe’s personal financial resources go a long way to support humanitarian causes. In this week alone (2nd week of June 2022), Togbe is reported to have made a donation of 200,000 GHS toward the rehabilitation of the victims of the mining explosion at Apiate (Western Region) as well as a donation of 300,000 GHS to support communities impacted by tidal floods in the Volta Region.

Against this backdrop, it is most concerning to us that a person like the host of Good Evening Ghana radio program who cannot lay claim to even ten percent of Togbe’s achievements deems it his business to rubbish him for his patriotic gesture to return money to the state. We use this opportunity to caution people like Paul Adom Otchere who, as it has emerged, was a beneficiary of Togbe Afede’s magnanimity in the past, to exercise caution, if not restraint, in the coverage of important national matters as they relate to eminent persons from the Volta Region. We note particularly that this isn’t the first time Mr. Otchere has adopted a disrespectful confrontational posture toward the Agbogbomefia. We recall his coverage of Togbe Afede during the national discussions on the controversial Agyapa deal and the national referendum to create new regions in 2018. We take exception to his posture of impertinence, unprofessionalism and nastiness which, we observe, is lacking in his coverage of Akan chiefs. One Volta Group is a development-focused organization, but we would be remiss to ignore the creeping show of disrespect to our chiefs in the overzealous effort to please the powers that be.

We in One Volta Group wish to reiterate our support for Togbe’s effort to place the welfare of the poor and needy front and center in all he does irrespective of ethnicity. It is our prayer that Togbe Afede’s type of selflessness become the norm among resourceful Ghanaians, and not the exception.

Peter N Abotchie (PhD) & Anthony M Sallar (PhD),
For One Volta Group
USA

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