Sydney, Australia -- Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, the President's nominee for Deputy Minister for Trade and Industries, on Tuesday 1 March 2005, came under a barrage of criticism on a radio program (88.9FM) for the Ghanaian Community. At issue was the Consulate-General's office, which is now run by his caucasian Australian friend, Mr Graham Malloy. Mr Osei-Ameyaw was appointed to the Consul-General position in 2002. He left in 2004 to pursue a political career in Ghana where he was elected as a member of parliament for Asuogyaman. He has subsequently been nominated as one of three deputy ministers to the Trade Ministry. In the radio program, Mr Kwame Adofo Koramoah, a lawyer, who worked at Mr Osei-Ameyaw's chambers, was quizzed about his knowledge of the circumstances that led to the appointment of Mr Osei-Ameyaw, and secondly the circumstances that led to him abandoning the office and eventually handing it over to his Australian friend. Koramoah said, he could comment on the circumstances that led to Mr Osei-Ameyaw getting the position, since he was not privy to the process. Mr Koramoah could not confirm nor deny if Osei-Ameyaw handed the office (Consul-General position) to his friend at the directions of the Government of Ghana. Further, Mr Koramoah stated that these are questions that can be put directly to Mr Osei-Ameyaw for his comments and or explanations, and this must be done at the earliest opportune time. However, the callers were scathing in their criticism. One caller, Mr Andrew Yeboah said Mr Osei-Ameyaw's behaviour was disgraceful. He merely wanted the position for his personal interest. According to him, Mr Osei-Ameyaw used the position as a platform and pissed off without giving regard to the Ghanaian community. Another caller, Mr Opoku, said Mr Osei-Ameyaw has no respect for the Ghanaian community. He said when Mr Osei-Ameyaw first became the Consul-General; he himself came to the Ghana radio program (88.9FM) and appealed to all Ghanaians to support him so the office will serve the Ghanaian community. But when the time came that he was leaving for Ghana to pursue his interest, he did not have the decency to even come to the community to advise where the office was going to be, who was going to be in charge, etc, etc… but instead took it to his white Australian friend. This, he said is a sign he is not a suitable person to hold a public office as reputable as Trade. In a related issue, some members of the community have expressed their concern about the fees charged for visas after Mr Osei-Ameyaw became the Consul-General. Their concerns arise from this fact; Mr Osei-Ameyaw was charging $140 for a standard 3 month visitor's visa. But curiously, two receipts are given to the payer. One of the receipt is issued for an amount of $60 (for himself), and the other one for the sum of $80 (which goes to the Ghana government).
In the case of the Express visas, the amount is $180; however the receipts are interesting in that $80 (to Ghana) and $100 (to himself). This, according to the people is a lot of money to get for one visa. They fear that given this background that Ghana will be in trouble when he is confirmed to the Trade Ministry.