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28.05.2004 General News

Osafo-Marfo Simply Must Go - UK CPP

By Nii Armah Akomfrah (CPP – UK & Ireland)
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Over a number of weeks now the whole of Ghana and indeed the international community has witnessed how not to run the financial affairs of a country in President Kufour and his government's botched attempt to secure a $300million loan for the country.

The whole affair provides an insight perhaps on the shambolic way in which the NPP government is running our beloved country.

The foundations that the CPP had built for the country had long been weakened , but it would seem our dignity is now been auctioned on the back streets of the world financial markets by the NPP Government.

The identity, location and ownership of the New Techniques (CNT) Group Holdings Limited(CNTCI) remains questionable, and a complex web of unexplained issues and numerous doubts surround the number of Chinese corporations including the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) Liaohe Petroleum Exploration Bureau, Shangai Electric Group Corporation, Jilin Province Electric Power Design & Survey Institute, and CNT Hong Kong Limited listed as shareholders of the loan company., not to mention a host of what seem to be ghost names. The China Railway Construction Company, has now said it has no stake in the CNTCI.

Mr Osafo-Maafo had told journalists that “all the big shorts of China Railway met and sought audience with his Excellency the President in the company of the Chinese ambassador when the CNT was first discussed.”

Ghanaian journalists have been combing the world and the net seeking information on addresses and names associated with the loan company.

Off course Ghanaians will remember that this is not the first time that Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo has been found wanting on the major issues concerning his Ministry. There were similar ”due diligence” issues surrounding the $1billion IFC loan , with the Minister failing to answer questions satisfactorily. Minister Osafo-Marfo also failed to answer questions satisfactorily on the German debt forgiveness to Ghana of £5million .

We do not wish to repeat the long list of inconsistencies that are emerging everyday on this issue but the saga raises many important issues :

· Why will a private company provide to Ghana US$300 million on such suspicious terms as a rate of .0.65%, for a period of 30 years with10 years grace period.

· Why does the Minister not readily have the answers in each of these cases.?

· Is it the job of Journalists to comb the world and the net chasing answers that the Minister should have?

· When will this government ever do its homework on any major issue concerning our country?

· What other blunders lie undiscovered in Hon Yaw Osafo-Marfo's Ministry of Finance.

· What credibility and respect will Osafo-Marfo now command at any international finance forum.

· Can the Government of Ghana categorically assure the nation that it is not in breach of international laws on the fight against terrorism and money laundering.

· Where is the transparency , accountability and good governance that we were promised?

The President and his administration – the apostles of transparency have remained silent and refusing to answer pertinent questions on these inconsistencies and worrying details.

What is clear to all Ghanaians however is that enough is enough is enough, no where on planet earth will a Finance Minister found so wanting on the most major issues at his Ministry be allowed to continue to embarrass his Party and country.

The Honourable Finance Minister has become not just a liability for the NPP Government but the whole country and he simply must go.

The Government may seek to pursue this loan regardless of the questions raised if it wishes to , but it should be aware that we would scrutinise every pesewa of the loan that it spends and pursue the matter to the ends of the earth to ensure that Ghana our beloved country is not cheated by thieves and loan sharks.

Yours In The Service Of Ghana's Democracy

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