Former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Professor Stephen Adei, has shut down the claims of broadcaster Kwasi Kyei Darkwa (KKD) in regards to an alleged conflict of interest the Finance Minister has in regards to Databank being transaction advisors to the government on borrowing.
According to Professor Adei, finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta resigned from Databank a clear three to four years before joining mainline politics.
Hence in his estimation, to target Databank now for its merit-based activities with the government of Ghana is being unfair and deliberately obtuse.
“Three to four years before Ken Ofori-Atta joined politics, he resigned from management, board and anything associated with Databank. Of course, he being a founder he has shares in it. So he has nothing to do with [Databank]. I know that for sure,” Professor Adei said on Joy News’ Upfront on August 18th 2022.
Professor Adei also pushed back on the narrative spewed by KKD that borrowing makes Ghana poorer, stating that is a very flawed mindset.
Professor Adei insisted that the government borrows for development.
“The borrowing was meant and I believe that it was meant to accelerate the nation’s development. It’s like saying you went and bought a car for commercial purposes and the car had an accident therefore the reason why the car had an accident was because you had a share in an insurance company which you have insured it to benefit from it. There is fundamental fallacy that the borrowing was meant to make Ghana poorer,” Adei schooled the broadcaster cum fashionista.
Professor Adei added that there would always be such ‘transaction advisers’ (the Ministry of Finance clarified that the role of Databank and eight other firms were as ‘bond market specialists’) – hence the real question we should be asking ourselves if government spent more than otherwise had they not used such specialists?
“The question is this. Being financial advisors and there will always be a consortium not to them alone…did it cost Ghana more than otherwise? This is the fundamental question. I doubt whether indeed.
“I think that whenever a country like Ghana is going to the international financial market, these advisors are part and parcel of it. I personally wish it was other companies other than Databank. What I am saying is this. To say that the Minister went to borrow so that Databank will benefit from it, I think it is below the belt,” Professor Adei added.
The celebrated broadcaster and noted fashionista went on a rant against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and Databank during an appearance on GTV’s Breakfast Show.
According to him, he was shocked to find out that Databank makes money as ‘transaction advisors’ every single time that government borrows money,
His conclusion was that the Finance Minister becomes richer everytime Ghana gets poorer via borrowing.
“I read a report yesterday that broke my heart, I saw how much Ghana owes, but I also found that apparently, the minister of finance’s company or former company is a transaction advisor to the monies that we borrow. So as Ghana gets poorer, the minister of finance’s company or former company gets richer,” he said.