Trade Ministry to appear before Special Committee

The Trade Ministry is expected to take its turn tomorrow,[January,12,2018] at the ongoing five member Special Committee  sitting set up by Parliament to investigate the issues surrounding the recently held Ghana Excellency Business Awards (GEBA).

According to the Spokesperson for the Committee, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah the Ministry of Trade and Industry will appear before the Committee tomorrow and hopefully by next Wednesday they should finish their work.

It would be recalled that on the 29th of December, 2017, an application by the Minority led by its chief whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka filed a motion, calling for investigations into the levy and collection by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Ghana cedi equivalent of various sums of money in U.S.dollars, from expatriate businesses and related matters during the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards in Accra.

Committee Sitting begins

Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mohammed who was the first witness to appear before the Committee sitting vehemently defended his claim that the presidency was used to make profit for private individuals.

The Asawase MP built a case that it was unethical for the Trade ministry to partner a private organization that promised to give its sponsors a dinner opportunity with the president if they paid up to $100,000.

He showed inconsistencies in the Trade ministry’s responses which first denied playing any role in designing the sponsorship packages but later admitted it collected monies from expatriates and Ghanaians on behalf of the private event body, Millenium Excellence Foundation (MEF).

Second witness to appear before the Committee,  North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa  urged the Trades Ministry to explain some “curious payments” made by the expatriate business community in the controversial cash-for-seat-scandal.

Presenting his case before a parliamentary committee set up to probe the scandal, Samuel Okudzeto Ablawkwa, questioned how a private event organiser, Millennium Excellence Foundation, had access to Trades Ministry facility for its activities.

“They [Millennium Excellence Foundation] took over Room 308 and asked the expatriate business community to send their cheques there.

“How is it possible that this account, which the cheque was lodged into was operated by the financial controller and chief director of the Trade Ministry? he asked.