The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremateng, has told the ad hoc committee set to investigate the ‘cash for seat’ saga that expatriate businessmen made contributions to the ministry but the amount was never $100,000.
Mr Kyeremateng who had appeared before the committee on its second day of hearing denied claims that the monies were taken to get them sit at the Presidential table.
“Mr. Chairman, for the avoidance of doubt, none of the persons mentioned made a contribution of $100,000 prior to the event,” he added.
He stated that he personally sat at the table with the president where 17 persons had also sat.
“There were representatives of organisations who did not make any monetary contributions before and after the event. There were three of them; these were individuals who were seated at the high table but made no contributions either before or after the event,” he clarified.
Answering questions related to the payment of monies, Mr Kyeremateng revealed that “The number of persons on the list under reference who made contributions prior to the event were seven.
“I know that there was one individual who was seated on the high table who has come out publicly to confirm that he paid GHS 13,000,” he explained.
He also added that two individuals also made contributions after the event.
The claim was first made by Minority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Asawase, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, in December 2017, on the back of a leaked document, and alleged that the Trade Ministry had extorted monies from some expatriates to the tune of $100,000 to sit close to the President.
He argued on the floor that the monies were not approved by Parliament said it could also not be accounted for in the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the Ministry’s accounts.
The Trade Ministry in a statement said it did not play any role in determining prices for seats at the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards (GEBA), and clarified that it only facilitated the implementation of a new initiative by the Millennium Excellence Foundation, the award organisers.
The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a query letter on Wednesday, December 20,2017, asked the Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Alan Kyerematen to explain circumstances that led to financial demands from the expatriate business community.
The Ministry after the query from the President stated that an amount of GHc 2,667,215 was realised from the event.
The president subsequently cleared Mr. Kyeremateng of any wrongdoing regarding the controversial matter.
The exoneration then led to the minority filing a motion in parliament to set up the committee.