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MINORITY DODGES $72M SSNIT SCANDAL - Leader Haruna says they are seeking expert advice - But dabbles in trivialities over McDan/ADB loan

Politics

The desperate effort by Haruna Iddrisu and his colleagues Minority Members of Parliament to go all out to cast a slur on the integrity of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, appears to have left them showing exceptionally keen interest in obvious trivial issues, while ignoring very important issues that touch on the very lives and survival of the people whose interest they claim to be championing.

The desperate effort by Haruna Iddrisu and his colleagues Minority Members of Parliament to go all out to cast a slur on the integrity of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, appears to have left them showing exceptionally keen interest in obvious trivial issues, while ignoring very important issues that touch on the very lives and survival of the people whose interest they claim to be championing.

 

One of the issues of major concern to almost every Ghanaian worker at the moment is how the people appointed by Haruna Iddrisu’s National Democratic Congress government to take charge of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust perpetrated an obvious scam on the nation, by misusing over $70 million of workers’ investment on the acquisition of an Operating Business Suite software.

But for close to over two weeks since the matter became a major subject for discussion in the country, Haruna and his colleagues have not found it important to join the discussion.

Haruna and his colleagues have been widely criticised for their silence over the rot at the pension scheme which has seen over $70 million of taxpayer’s money gone waste in an attempt to install an OBS software.

Yesterday, at a press conference organized to talk about a rather obvious trivial issue of why a long-standing client of a bank should be able to secure a loan from his bankers to execute a contract he had won, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the group he leads would speak on the monumental SSNIT scandal only after seeking expert advice.

“In fact, last week, there was a meeting on the particular subject. We don’t just want to talk as a Minority; I need expert advice. We are studying; we don’t want to be a Minority that just rushes to say [anything].

The Tamale South MP added: “Don’t forget that, myself, I was the Minister who oversaw pensions and I do have a position on the prudent management of pension resources. At the appropriate time, when I’m satisfied with the details, we would address the public on this and many issues.”

Contrary to Haruna Iddrisu’s claim that he and his colleagues would not “rush to say [anything]”, they found it prudent yesterday to rush to organize a press conference to talk about a simple transaction between a businessman and his bankers, involving a credit facility to execute a a supply contract.

The beef of the Minority in Parliament is that in the absence of the Board of Directors of the the Agricultural Development Bank, the Finance Minister has granted approval for the grant of credit facility to MacDan Shipping Company to enable it execute a supply contract awarded by the Ghana Cocobod.

In fact, the letter of approval from the Finance Minister to the Managing Director of ADB added: “You are hereby directed to ensure that the necessary due diligence is done before the disbursement of the loan as well as ratification of the approval of the loan, once the Board is put in place.

Yet, Haruna Iddrisu and his colleagues say everything is wrong with this transaction and so should not be allowed to go through.

“In fact, I don’t understand why the Minority should make any issue out of this simple, normal business transaction between a bank and its client. I thought their members with finance and banking background should have been able to advise them that this is a normal business practice,” a source at ADB told the Daily Statesman.

The source added: “MacDan Company is a long-standing client of the bank and it has won a supply contract from Cocobod, payment of which will not delay once the contract is executed. The fact that there is no board in place does not mean a credit facility cannot be granted. In fact, in the absence of the board, the majority shareholder can grant such approvals, and here the majority shareholder is the government, represented by the Finance Minister, who has the power to grant such approvals. So there is nothing wrong about this transaction and I expected the Minority to have known this simple fact.”

ADB was listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange on December 20, 2016, with the new ownership structure as follows: Government of Ghana, 32.30%; Bank of Ghana, 9.50%; SIC Financial Services, 10%; Belstar Capital Limited, 24%; Starmount Development Company Limited, 11%; EDC Investment Limited, 6%; and Retail Investors and ADB, 7.20%.