Minister of State-designate at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen

Minister of State-designate at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen, has contradicted claims made by the Finance Ministry that Black Star Brokerage has not been appointed as an advisor to the Ministry.

Speaking to Parliament’s Appointments Committee during his vetting on Wednesday, June 2, he said his firm, Black Star Brokerage, “was selected as one of the advisors to the international markets programme which includes the issuance of the Eurobond.”

He explained that despite their appointment, “they did not participate in the Eurobond issuance, therefore, did not have any engagement or sign any engagement letter or were paid any fees or did any business with government.”

His claims were in direct contradiction with a press statement authored by the Public Relations Department of the Finance Ministry, which claimed that Databank and Black Star Brokerage were not appointed as advisors to the Ministry.

“It is our understanding that the firms in question that the story refers to are Databank and Black Star Brokerage. The Ministry would like to state that the claim that these two firms have been appointed as advisors to the Ministry of Finance is incorrect,” the press statement read.

This was in reply to an opinion piece by Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, who claimed that the appointment of Black Star Brokerage and Databank, which are owned by Charles Adu-Boahen and Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta respectively, posed a conflict of interest.

Mr Adongo further alleged that Mr Adu-Boahen’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.

Thus, Mr. Adu-Boahen’s nomination as Minister Designate at the Finance Ministry should be rejected as he’s unfit for the role.

However, reacting to Mr Adongo’s assertions, Charles Adu-Boahen categorically stated that he had resigned from the Board and Management of Black Star advisory at the beginning of 2017.

He stressed that he has no influence over the business dealings of the brokerage.

He subsequently added that the appointment of Black Star Brokerage was purely based on merit. Thus, if he is given the green light to assume the office of the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, there will be no conflict of interest.

“In their current capacity as bond market specialists, they’re operating purely based on performance and I have no influence or say in what they do. It is their responsibility to go out and raise money for government when bonds are issued. They then get paid based on their ability to do so,” he asserted.