File photo: Ken Ofori-Atta and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Parliament for the 2018 Mid-Year Budget review
File photo: Ken Ofori-Atta and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Parliament for the 2018 Mid-Year Budget review

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister Designate for Finance, has maintained that government did not breach any law in relation to the Agyapa transaction to securitise Ghana’s gold royalties.

According to him, the Finance Ministry, and for that matter government, at every step of the way ensured that the Agyapa deal was above board.

“I do not feel that we broke any law by the way the procurement was done under transaction,” the Finance Minister Designate, who held the same portfolio in the first term of the Akufo-Addo led Government of the New Patriotic Party, said.

Mr Ofori-Atta made the observation when he appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament for vetting as Minister Designate for Finance.

Mr Ofori-Atta has been out of the country for some time receiving treatment on COVID-19 health issues.

In his absence, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Caretaker Minister for Finance, was made to deliver the 2021 Budget and Government Financial Statement in Parliament.

Mr Ofori-Atta also explained that, as Finance Minister, he had no interest to breach the 1992 constitution, stressing that it was not part of his mandate.

He cited for example that when they did a transaction on the US$2.25 billion Euro-bond, there was brouhaha over the matter and they had to go to Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to be cleared of any wrong doing.

Mr Ofori-Atta also stated that the people’s objection to the deal were not in Ghana’s interest.

He argued that such assumptions were inimical to the growth of the economy and did not help with the kind of freedom of policy orientation and innovation required for the country to develop.

He stated that given Ghana’s standing as the largest exporter of gold, something different should be done within the remits of the Constitution to ensure that the country benefitted fully from its gold resources.

He said the idea of trying to get more equity and leverage the country’s resources was something that Ghanaians must support.

“I would really encourage some forbearance on that, because I think it sometimes poisons the public to think in certain way,” the Minister Designate said.

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