Stop Calling Us ‘stupid’; It’s ‘childish’ – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has said the government must stop its “childish” behaviour of continuously branding them as “stupid” and “ignorant” anytime they differ on issues.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told parliament, in response to a motion filed by the Minority in connection with the $2.25 billion bond issued by the government, that the Minority’s complaints over the transaction is borne out of their lack of understanding of the process.

According to him, “All prospective bidders bid through their primary dealers, who in turn submitted the investor’s bids through the Central Securities Depository platform. The joint transaction advisers then collate these bids to build up a book on which the bonds are issued.

“At no time during the book building process did the Ministry of Finance negotiate with any investor in any way, and it will indeed be quite difficult to manipulate the process when the three financial institutions are governed strictly by the Bank of Ghana’s rules and regulations.”

He insisted: “There were no breaches of integrity either on government’s part or on the joint book runner’s part.

“It may be tempting to say that the apparent attempt to manufacture some form of integrity deficit is generally borne out of a lack of understanding of the actual process,” Mr Ofori-Atta added.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by Deputy Finance Minister Kweku Kwarteng who told Accra-based Starr FM’s Francis Abban on Thursday that the Minority must read to educate themselves on the whole bond process.

Responding to him on the same programme, former Deputy Finance Minister in the Mahama administration, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, said: “We [Minority] have earned where we have gotten to so this trying to give the impression that one side is ignorant, one side is stupid should stop.

“Let’s deal with the issues, if you have a different standpoint on a particular issue, it doesn’t make you ignorant. And [you say] that we should read; give us the information so that we can read. The Finance Minister came to parliament, we asked him to provide documents, he decided to give a lecture. Give us the information…”

The MP for Cape Coast South added: “Let’s stop this ‘you don’t read [business]’; we’ve been to the same schools you have been to, we’ve learnt the same things you have learnt, we’ve been in government just like you have been, we have read just like you have read, so stop this childish thing of ‘you don’t read’, ‘you’re ignorant’ and all that because we know our stuff just like you know your stuff. The fact that we have a different view on a matter than yours doesn’t make us ignorant, the fact that we are pointing to a different direction on something [doesn’t make us ignorant].”

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