21.05.2004 Press Review

Editorial: Ah Osafo Maafo, How come?

By Gye Nyame Concord
Editorial: Ah Osafo Maafo, How come?
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Ah! Finance Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, how come? How come such a shoddy work was done in the name of the people of Ghana? How come?
These and many more questions continue to hit the minds of many Ghanaians as the nation ponders over the scandal of the $300 million loan agreement between the so-called CNTCI/CNT group and the Government of Ghana.
For example, how come a company that claimed it could dish out $300 million to Ghana finds itself mired in a controversy of not having a common address, working phone and fax lines, or even a website? Why would a company willing to provide such a huge loan provide false addresses to a sovereign State such as Ghana?
And how come the various technical experts at the ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives, and Ports and Harbours did not see the apparent and glaring contrasts in the loan agreement?
Also, how come the contrasts escaped the attention of folks at the Ministry of Finance, the Minister Hon Osafo Maafo himself, the Cabinet of the Republic of Ghana, as well the Select Committee of Parliament on Finance?
Then how come it also escaped the eagle eyes of our august members of the whole House?
These questions themselves lead to more questions, which ultimately goes to show how easy it is to take the people of Ghana for a ride and why Ghanaians cannot wholly entrust the running of this country into the hands of their leaders without watching them.
It shows that we cannot go to sleep on our politicians in the hope that they would run things well.
Otherwise, how come such a poor job was done of this loan agreement, with the Finance Committee of Parliament allowing a self-written essay of achievements to pass off as a 'due diligence' report? How come?
And some argue that the answers to these questions and the questions themselves are insignificant?
How can anybody say that? How can any mind say that when a company which promises it would give out a $300 million loan deliberately gives false addresses left, right and centre, it can be wholly trusted.
How can it be trusted when its address, phone line, fax line and even post code do not check out?
How can it be trusted when it has shown a capacity and capability to use a wrong postcode of London W6 7JZ (which belongs to the address 238A Latymer Road) for that of 150 Hammersmith Road's postcode of London W6 7JP?
Ebei! This loan agreement stinks on the face of it and should have been doused with cupfuls of lavender before being passed as an agreement. As it is, we would continue to ask questions and demand answers until we get them. For now we can only ask, how come? What went wrong?

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