Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate to the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has replied the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, over the controversy surrounding the $250 million of the total proceeds from the nation’s $1billion Eurobond. He is demanding the resignation of the Minister.
Dr Bawumia, speaking with students of the Accra Polytechnic last week, suggested that the government had diverted the amount into a private account at the United Bank for Africa.
He alleged that the government intended to use the money to campaign ahead of the November 7 polls.
But the Finance Minister rejected the claim, saying: “The US$250 million seed money to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) lodged by the Board with a Commercial Bank is safe and has already started bearing interest to the idle Fund.”
Responding to the Finance Minister’s explanation of where the fund is, Dr Bawumia told Accra-based Citi FM on Tuesday May 10, that Mr Terkper had violated the laws of the land, hence must resign.
He quoted Section 53 of the Bank of Ghana Act: “The bank shall hold all foreign exchange of the state and be responsible to parliament in the performance of its function in relation to the foreign exchange.
“What the Minister has done violates the Bank of Ghana Act and I would ask quite humbly that this transaction be reversed, that there should be a parliamentary enquiry into how this happened and the Minister should re-consider his position. His position is not tenable. If you are the one supposed to enforce the law and you are violating the laws and you are violating the laws you should resign. He is a very good friend of mine, I like him a lot, he is a nice person and all of that, but I think there is no Minister of Finance in the world who can maintain his position when he has violated this law in the manner that has been done.”
Dr Bawumia argued that per the Act, there is no other place to save Ghana’s foreign exchange apart from the Bank of Ghana.
He further described the movement of funds from the Bank of Ghana to the UBA as “essentially circumventing the Bank of Ghana’s role in managing Ghana’s foreign exchange”.
“That is what we have done. We’ve gone round the Bank of Ghana and given the money to UBA which is now buying Treasury bills to pay for the deposits which we have given them. So the Minister, in connivance with the Bank of Ghana, has violated the Bank of Ghana Act,” he insisted.
When asked whether he would go to court if Parliament failed to probe the matter, Dr Bawumia said: “That is something down the road, we will consider all the advice that we have but I think Parliament has all the oversight responsibility on this matter and there is a clear violation of the Bank of Ghana Act and it should be dealt with.”
He has appealed to parliament to launch an investigation into the matter.