Deputy Communications Minister, Alexander Abban says individuals who are demanding the resignation of the Finance Minister over the Agyapa royalties deal are doing so out of mischief.
He maintains the linkage being drawn to the transaction and that of the suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) is misplaced.
An analysis of the transaction by Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu in a 64-paged report raised red flags over the deal. It took a swipe at the Minister of Finance and other officials who contributed to processes that led to the approval by Parliament.
Following the issuance of the report and the subsequent directive from the President to the Finance Minister to take the deal back to parliament for further scrutiny, some stakeholders have called for the resignation or dismissal of the Finance Minister over the matter.
But Mr. Abban insists the risk assessment report is to only prevent potential financial losses in the deal and not the blame the Finance Minister of any wrongdoing hence calls for the dismissal or resignation of Ken Ofori-Atta over possible instances of conflict of interest have no basis.
“That call is misconceived in the sense that this matter can be distinguished from that of the PPA boss matter because I know that those who want to cause mischief will say that because the PPA comes from somewhere else, he has been given a sack and because the Finance Minister is somehow related to the President, he is being shielded. So I want to take the wind out of the sail from those who want to make that argument”, he said on the Big Issue on Saturday.
“In this matter, the deal has been made and it’s structured in a manner that people have raised concerns over and if by the report of the Special Prosecutor, there is a likelihood of conflict of interest, I don’t think the response to this is to relieve the person of his position. The question will be what loss have suffered as a result of this conflict of interest. The report is to prevent such a thing from happening and the President in his wisdom has directed that take this back to Parliament for proper scrutiny, it does not necessarily mean that the President must give a verdict that it is a bad deal”, he added.
On the same show, President of IMANI-Africa, Franklin Cudjoe stated that it will be in the best interest of the country should the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and his deputy, Charles Adu Boahen excuse themselves from the controversial agreement.
He believes the current fallout of the deal is embarrassing, given the poor work done by the Finance Committee of Parliament insisting that more harm than good has been caused due to the lack of proper evaluation of the transaction.
“I think those on the Finance Committee did a shoddy job. Mark Assibey Yeboah and his people did not serve the country well at all. And I am surprised that he is taking a swipe at the special prosecutor for they don’t do basic evaluation assessment properly. The moment nobody was giving you an assessment, series or net present value analysis of the Agyapa deal, then you begin to question the whole basis of arriving at the evaluation figure of US$1 Billion.”