Former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Professor Emeritus Stephen Adei, has said that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, resigned from Databank approximately four clear years before joining frontline politics.
According to him, although Ken Ofori-Atta is the founder of the Databank, he has nothing to do with it at present.
Speaking on Joy News programme ‘Upfront’ on August 18, Professor Adei said Databank’s role as transactional advisors to government borrowings was not for profit but for the country’s development.
“Three to four years before Ken Ofori-Atta joined politics, he resigned from management, board [and] anything associated with Databank. Of course, he being a founder he has shares in it. So he has nothing to do [with Databank]. I know that for sure,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance has in a statement clarified that Databank and eight other firms are not transaction advisors to government in its Eurobond activities but that they are 'bond market specialists' - experts who are chosen based on merit.
With respect to monies borrowed by government on Eurobond markets, the professor defended: “The borrowing was meant and I believe that it was meant to accelerate the nation's development. It’s like saying you went and bought a car for commercial purposes and the car had an accident therefore the reason why the car had an accident was because you had a share in an insurance company which you have insured it to benefit from it. There is fundamental fallacy that the borrowing was meant to make Ghana poorer,” Professor Adei added.
The former chairman of the National Development Planning Authority, NDPA, indicated that the role of Databank should not be on whether there is a conflict of interest but rather focus should be given to whether it discharged its duty to the country at an extra cost.
He said although he wished Databank was not in it current role of transaction advisors for Ghana’s borrowing, it will always remain part of the process.
He added that the comments made by Kwasi Kyei Darko, alias KKD, that Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank was profiting off the country’s borrowing was below the belt.
“The question is this. Being financial advisors and there will always be a consortium not to them alone…did it cost Ghana more than otherwise? This is the fundamental question. I doubt whether indeed,” Professor Adei insisted.
“I think that whenever a country like Ghana is going to the international financial market, these advisors are part and parcel of it. I personally wish it was other companies other than Databank. What I am saying is this. To say that the Minister went to borrow so that Databank will benefit from it, I think it is below the belt,” he maintained.
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