17.11.2002 Feature Article

Dr. Apraku The Demagogue – A Rejoinder

Dr. Apraku The Demagogue – A Rejoinder
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I would have dismissed the story published on Ghanaweb about Dr. Apraku titled “Dr. Apraku the Demagogue,” if I did not know the facts. The story was published as Toli of Thursday, 07 November 2002. I know all the three individuals mentioned in the story and therefore I have been compelled to react to dispel this error-riddled story and to set the records straight in order to prevent further slander of the Honourable Minister and the others mentioned. Firstly, it is untrue that Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, has several Special Assistants. The only official Special Assistant in the Ministry is Mr. Kwame Nuako. Mr. Nuako has not only been falsely represented as directly related to the Minister but also as incompetent to hold that position. Although they can be described as friends, it is deceptive to ascribe any family ties between the two. Dr. Apraku and Mr. Kwame Nuako do not bear the slightest family relations. On qualifications, Mr. Nuako holds a Certified General Accountants Certificate. He has worked as Operations Accountant of MDS Inc., the largest medical and health care service provider in Canada, for over 10 years. He was not struggling with life in Canada as the article portrays. On the contrary, he moved on to become Manager for Financial Reporting with Grey Worldwide, a Communications firm. Mr. Nuako was Chairman of NPP from 1995-2000, an Organization he helped found. He was also the Executive Director of the Ghana-Canada Business Council, an experience that has equipped him, presently, to revamp business and trade relations between Ghana and Canada. Mr. Nuako was the pillar of the Ghana Methodist Church in Toronto. He was a great organizer and a hardworking individual, indeed, by any standard. He is greatly missed here in Canada. Mr. Nuako cannot be described as unqualified or incompetent. In this same malicious story, Nana Dr. Baah Boakye who is a cousin of Dr. Apraku is said to be the Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) chiefly as a result of his relations with the Minister. This is also misleading. Dr. Boakye is eminently qualified to head NBSSI. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Food Processing. He was Head of Department of Chemical Engineering of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology from where he was elevated as the Principal of Accra Polytechnic. In both positions he preformed creditably. We should think that his background and qualifications amply position him to be the Executive Director of NBSSI. On the allegation that NBSSI’s budget has been substantially increased to 1.24 million cedis to enable Dr. Apraku’s cousin “chop” the money; this is at best ridiculous and a rather ignorant demonstration of government’s machinery as regards budget allocations. The fact is, no sector Minister is responsible for approving the budget of any government agency be it under his sector or not. The only person who approves budget of all ministries, Departments and Agencies is the Finance Minister, and is ridiculous to expect the Finance Minister to increase the budget of any agency merely on account of family ties. What the writer of this mischievous story didn’t know is that Ghana Standards Board is gradually being phased out of government subvention. At present they generate 50% of their own revenue and only rely on government for the rest. This accounts for their comparatively lower funding. Other lies contained in the mischievous story under reference sought to portray Dr. Apraku as one who’s made good since his appointment as Minister. The facts are that Dr. Apraku taught for over 10 years in three different universities in the United States as Professor of Economics and Finance. He worked for the United Nations for two and half years. Both positions paid handsomely. It is not true, therefore, that Dr. Apraku was using a pick-up truck as a means of transporting himself to Parliament during his first term as MP. He arrived in Ghana with three vehicles – a Toyota Celica, Isuzu – Pick Up and an MPV. He was also given a new Peugeot 406 vehicle by Parliament. In fact he’s never had any difficulty with access to cars. As far back as 1981, Dr. Apraku had completed his first house in Kumasi on a plot he bought in 1978. He completed his second house in 1990; long before he began his political career. Clearly then, long before becoming the Minister of Trade and even an MP, Dr. Apraku was a man of considerable wealth. In fact, Dr. Apraku helped fund the NPP in its early years. The records are there for all to verify. I can think of many words to describe the Honourable Minister, none of which would be “demagogue,” whatever that means.

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