The Minority in Parliament has called for a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into the circumstances under which government’s $US2.25billion 15-year bond was issued, accusing the Finance Minister of being caught up in a conflict of interest situation in that move.
The Minority, at a press conference on Tuesday said the US-based firm Franklyn Templeton Investment Limited, which bought almost 95 percent of the domestic bond, has private dealings with Mr Ofori-Atta.
The Minority caucus said he[Ofori-Atta] failed and/or neglected to declare his relationship with Trevor G. Trefgarne and the extent to which that relationship might have potentially affected the decision to sell majority of the bonds to Frankly Templeton.
It adds:”Furthermore, there is no disclosure as to the extent to which the determination of the price of the bonds could also have been affected by this relationship between the Finance Minister and Franklyn Templeton.”
In the view of the minority, it is clear that the finance minister issued the said bond in a way that will favour his friend, family and business partners, since there is a good link established between the finance minister and his friend Trevor.
“This situation is best described as cronyism and nepotism, cooked for his friend and associates, and not transparent.”
The minority therefore called on the Finance Minister to provide parliament with the full complement of documentation on this transaction for scrutiny and ratification.
“We also wish to point out that this Bond issue is clearly an international economic/business transaction within the meaning of article 181 (5) of the Constitution.
“Therefore, we expected that the bond issuance would have been brought to parliament for approval. This is because although the transaction appears as to be a domestic sale of bonds, it is in truth a “private placement” and an international economic transaction given the fact that Franklyn Templeton is a United States registered company and, therefore, qualifies as a foreign entity under article 181 (5) of the constitution.”