Investigate the $2.25 billion euro bond - Dr. Gatsi tells SEC

April 22, 2017

Head of the Finance Department at the University of Cape Coast, Dr John Gatsi, has disputed government’s argument that the 2.25 billion-dollar bond it issued, is a local bond, and called for an investigation into the matter. 

He argued per Ghana’s Public Borrowing Guidelines and the fact that greater portion of the bond comes from private external source, “it [the $2.25 billion bond]is external borrowing” contrary to the explanation by the Ministry of Finance. 

Government announced on April 3 that it has successfully issued 15 and 7-year bonds with the same coupon rate of 19.75%, raising a total amount of 1.13 billion dollars, and another 1.12 billion (cedi equivalent) in five and 10-year bonds via a tap arrangement. 

The minority Members of Parliament subsequently raised red flag over the issuance of the bond citing lack of transparency, conflict of interest and lack of borrowing without parliamentary approval as the basis. 

The Ministry of Finance on Thursday hit back at the minority in a statement issued to debunk the claims by the minority MPs, describing those as “baseless” and designed to …” designed to malign and negate the positive news and rave reviews this landmark transaction has garnered, both locally and internationally”. 

It took the view that the bond as issued was indeed a local one which ought not be given a parliamentary approval. 

But Dr Gatsi who is an economist argued the explanation by the Finance Ministry, is “too simplistic”, and requested that the Ministry takes time to especially “deal with the matter relating to conflict of interest” raised by the minority MPs. 

“The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should as a matter of public interest and securing the image of the government of Ghana and the Ministry of Finance should investigate the matter broadly and with dispatch,” Dr Gatsi said.

 

Source : Ghanaweb

 

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