Aggrieved customers of the defunct gold dealership firm, Menzgold, have expressed disappointment at Parliament, following the approval of Ken Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister.
Menzgold has struggled to pay monies belonging to its customers, after an order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to suspend aspects of its operations in 2018.
Calls to get the Finance Ministry under Ofori-Atta to pay the customers their principals has not been very successful despite Menzgold CEO Nana appiah Mensah (NAM 1) being tried in court.
According to the customers, Ofori-Atta did not take their pleas seriously, alleging that Menzgold was getting more investors than the Minister’s DataBank that was a rival.
After claiming some clients were paid an amount of 5 billion, Fred Forson who is the spokesperson for the aggrieved clients argues that was not the case as thousands of clients remain unpaid despite numerous promises.
“Menzgold was deliberately collapsed,” Forson told XYZ Tonight host Prince Minkah whilst blaming Ofori-Atta for their untold hardships.
“From the vetting, we heard the talk of Data bank and Enterprise Group [which are his] which he agreed to be working there and now a shareholder,” he said and wondered why these businesses were thriving with speed under Akufo-Addo’s leadership.
He said the data of the Finance Minister regarding the payment made to Menzgold customers was false, saying once he has been approved Ghanaians are going to bear the brunt of his “wicked policies” especially menzgold customers who do not know their fate under Ofori-Atta who refused to listen to their cry.
Ofori-Atta’s approval follows recommendations by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, after he was vetted last week.
The Minister, who returned from the US where he spent about a month receiving treatment for post COVID 19 complications, spent two days before the Committee which grilled him on some critical issues including alleged scandalous deals.
But in spite of some reservations by critics, Mr. Ofori-Atta, who was the last substantive minister to be approved, has received an overwhelming nod by the Committee.
Presenting the recommendations of the Committee, Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annor Dompreh, highlighted a number of questions the nominee was asked.
He said by consensus members recommended that the House approved the nominee as Minister responsible for Finance.
Before he was vetted NDC members cautioned their MPs in Parliament not to approve Ofori-Atta following some dubious deals he superintended in the Akufo-Addo first term.
Meanwhile the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), that had warned its MPs to disqualify Ofori-Atta, has made an interesting u-turn and now managing to calm the party’s base.
A statement from NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has urged its members to be calm, assuring the rank and file of the party to “remain circumspect when the need for reaction arise” following Ofori-Atta’s approval in Parliament Monday.
Ofori-Atta’s approval has come as a surprise not only to groups that were badly affected by the banking sector clean-up that led to thousands job losses but to the CSOs that kicked against some deals initiated by the Minister.
The Executive Director for Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson has said he is highly disappointed in the Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Appointment Committee, especially those from the NDC side.
“I’m quite worried, Eric, if that turns out to be the case. You remember we have sent a petition to Parliament, to the committee, we have raised a number of issues; we’ve received some assurance from the commitee that they were going to work on it and look at the issues to the latter,” Thompson said while reacting to the issue on Morning Update onTV XYZ.
“Apart from that, we have also submited to the committee, a list of witnesses which we wanted the comittee to invite to testify based on the issues we raised. We had also submitted hardcore evidence of the issue we raised against the nomination of Ken Ofori-Atta and we had been assured that they werr egoing to look into these issues,” he added whilst expressing shock as to why the Committee did not call the witnesses to testify during the veting.