The Ghanaian Lens can confirm that at least eight members of the Council of State, including the Chairman, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, yesterday met with a delegation from the Minority in Parliament at the Council of State office, State House, Accra.
The meeting, which started at around 11.00am, was at the instance of the Council of State.
Members of the Council of State present at the meeting include, as mentioned earlier, the Chairman, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Mrs. Margaret Amoakohene, Nii Adjiri Blankson, and Kwadwo Agyenim Boateng.
The Minority delegation was made up of the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Hon. Lee Ocran, and Hon. Kofi Attor.
The meeting took place on the back of a publication in the Informer newspaper on Monday that revealed that the Council of State was going to meet with a delegation from the Minority to plead with them to abandon pursuing the case of the controversial 2.25 billion dollar bond.
The controversial bond saga guarantees that Trevor G. Trefgarne and Franklin Templeton would become richer by more than 7.3 billion dollars by the end of the fifteenth year of their investment of 2.25 billion in Ghana’s cedi bond. This amount represents more than three hundred per-cent the value of their investment.
The 2.25 billion dollars investment, according to financial analysts, is equivalent conservatively to 10 billion Ghana cedis. At a dollar to cedi exchange rate of 1 dollar to 4 Ghana cedis, and at 19.5% interest per annum on the cedi bond, it means that Ghana would be required to 1.95 billion cedis every year in interest payments!
According to analysts, 1.95 billion Ghana cedis, assuming the cedi remains at 1 dollar to 4 Ghana cedis, this would mean that the dollar equivalent interest rate on bond will be 487 million dollars a year.
This means that yearly interest payments of 487 million dollars over 15 years alone will amount to 7.3 billion dollars!
To top it all, after 15 years Ghana would be required to make a single bullet payment of the principal amount of the 2.25 billion dollars to Trevor G. Trefgarne and Templeton!
This means that by the fifteenth year Trevor G. and Templeton would have taken out a whopping 7.3 billion dollars from Ghana, in addition to their investment of 2.25 billion dollars.
Indeed, the situation could even get worse if, as appears to be very likely, the cedi falls even further against the dollar!
So Templeton is going to make $9.55b by the end of the bond period on an investment of $2.25b.
According to financial analysts, a straight dollar bond would have attracted an interest rate of around 10% much lower than 19.5% on a dollar indexed cedi bond and would have saved the nation a lot of money.
Meanwhile, it has since been established that not only is Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, a bosom friend of Trevor. G. Trefgarne, but the two of them have shared business interests.
Unsatisfied with the relational issues that have given cause to suspect conflict of interest and insider trading, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on behalf of the Minority, filed a petition with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) inviting the US regulatory body to investigate the bond issue.
It is believed that it is this petition that the Council of State wanted to have the Minority consider abandoning.
Interestingly, the Council of State had earlier on Monday, in reaction to the Informer publication, issued a carefully worded statement signed by the acting Secretary to the Council, Mrs. Peace A. P. Okantey, denying that any meeting had taken place “as at the time of reading the above referenced publication”.
Below is the full text of the carefully worded Council of State release:-
RE: COUNCIL OF STATE BEGS NDC TO DROP CASE
The attention of the Council of State has been drawn to a false publication on the front page of The Informer newspaper of Monday May 29 – Tuesday May 30, 2017 which subsequently became the subject of various media discussions on Monday, May 29, 2017.
The Council of State wishes to state categorically and unequivocally that neither its Chairman Nana Otuo Siriboe II, nor any of its members has been approached by the Minister of Finance or the President of Ghana to negotiate with any group of people on the matter of the $2.25 billion bond transaction.
The Council is indeed scandalized that any media organization can concoct a story to deceive the citizens of Ghana and to seek to tarnish the hard-won reputations of its members.
For emphasis, as at the time of reading the above referenced publication there had been no meeting between the Council of State and any minority group.
The Council wishes to counsel all who want careers in journalism to first educate/train themselves on the ethics and principles of journalism in order to be useful to themselves and to society.
PEACE A. P. OKANTEY (MRS.)
AG. SECRETARY TO THE COUNCIL
It must be emphasised that the above statement from the Council of State was issued before the meeting with the Minority delegation that same Monday.