Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu has intimated that there is no conflict of interest in appointing Mr Charles Adu Buahen as Minister of State at the Finance Ministry despite his previous relationship with Black Star Brokerage, advisors to the International Markets programme of the Ministry.
Mr Adu Boahen owns Black Star Brokerage. But he told Parliament’s Appointments Committee during his vetting that he has resigned from the company.
Speaking on News Night, Wednesday, Mr Senanu observed that since there is no evidence to fault the processes that led to the appointment of Black Star Brokerage as advisors to the Finance Ministry, then the purported allegations concerning undue leverage, hold no water.
“On the surface of it, I think that Mr Adu Buahen referred to the fact that he had several relationships with that company in 2017 and to that extent I think that there is a sense of which if the Committee had any suspicion they should have adduced, otherwise I don’t see any conflict of interest.
“Indeed it will have been more interesting if they could have established that in terms of the criteria that were established for selecting the Bond specialists, this particular Black Star company did not meet the criteria or as part of the procurement report, we have evidence to suggest that there was undue leverage or impact influence that got them in. Lacking that, I don’t think we can talk about conflict of interest to the extent that he has done the formal thing by breaking up his relationship with them,” he stated.
Edem Senanu’s reaction comes on the back of an allegation mounted on Adu-Boahen, by the Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, Isaac Adongo, to the effect that the nominee, in his previous position as the Deputy Finance Minister, granted undue benefit to his company through fees and charges on bonds issued by the state, in which the said company was advisor.
According to Isaac Adongo, the nominee’s private firm, Black Star Advisory, Data Bank, and other advisory firms have made GH₵856 million in fees on Ghana’s loans since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) assumed office in 2017.
Isaac Adongo has therefore demanded that Mr. Adu-Boahen’s nomination as Minister Designate at the Finance Ministry should be rejected as he’s unfit for the role.
Reacting to the allegation during his vetting on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Mr. Adu Boahen revealed that he ceased meddling in the affairs of the company since he resigned in 2017.
Mr Senanu believes that Adu-Boahen did not breach any ethical or legal rules involving his private firm as an advisor to the Finance Ministry.
For him, Mr Adu Boahen’s resignation was good, “If you are in a business and then at a certain point you are being given a public sector appointment, the right thing to do, especially in a sector in which you know your business might get involved, the right thing to do is to shed off any such responsibility.
“So I don’t think it is a coincidence, I think it is intentional. It is expected of anybody who is going to be appointed in the public sector and has a certain role, it is a good judgment in my view, ” he concluded.
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