Nana’s Rep At The Finance Ministry: Ofori-Atta Or Adu Buahen…..The Value Is The Same

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The naming of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s new representative at the Ministry of Finance has sent some top shots with deep knowledge at affairs of that ministry laughing and casting aspersions over the move.

According to them, the President’s choice of Charles Adu-Boahen, a deputy minister, is nothing new as Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta was Charles Adu-Boahen and Adu-Boahen was Ofori-Atta.

There are claims that among all the three Deputy Ministers that served under Mr. Ofori-Atta, in first term of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr. Adu-Boahen was his favourite.

The two other deputies were Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng and Mrs. Abena Osei-Asare; but Mr. Adu-Boahen was mostly seen running the show apart from Mr. Ofori-Atta.

It was Mr. Adu-Boahen who signed the infamous Agyapa deal that created huge furore among Ghanaians before the December 2020 elections.

The Deputy Finance Minister, after signing the deal, mounted spirited defences, notably among them was his position that those who criticized the Agyapa deal lacked understanding of the nuances of the arrangement and, maintained that, Ghana would make significant gains with the deal.

Interestingly, Mr. Martin Amidu, former Special Prosecutor faulted the Agyapa, describing the whole deal as grubby and tainted with corruption.

Mr. Amidu has since his resignation over issues largely bordering on the Agyapa deal, become a sworn-enemy of persons in the Akufo-Addo government.

Those who are talking about the President’s representative at the finance ministry are of the view that the President should allow the top directors of the ministry to operate, if there was nothing serious to handle.

Per what they are saying, Mr. Adu-Boahen played crucial roles in almost all the major assignments that Mr. Ofori-Atta undertook and it would have been better to get a different person to man the ministry for the two weeks that Mr. Ofori-Atta would be away.

But there are murmurings that, should someone who was not part of Mr. Ofori-Atta take over, it would create problems for the system because certain things that did not go right could be unearthed within the two weeks period.

There are also issues bordering on the President’s Representatives’ human relations with top civil servants at the ministry just like Mr. Ofori-Atta.

Some of the experienced hands at the Ministry of Finance were side-lined by Mr. Ofori-Atta who relied on numerous Technical Advisors, some of whom were his working colleagues from the Data Bank.

President Akufo-Addo has named a former Deputy Minister of Finance as his new representative at the Ministry of Finance, following  Ofori Atta’s travel outside of Ghana for medical care.

Mr. Adu-Boahen thus, replaces his immediate past boss, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, who is currently in the United States of America (USA) for medical review following post Covid-19 complications.

Mr. Ofori-Atta has earlier been nominated as Minister of Finance in President Akufo-Addo’s second term and awaiting Parliamentary vetting and approval.

Until his trip to the USA last Sunday, Mr Ofori-Atta was the President’s representative at the Ministry of Finance.

His vetting by Parliament has since been postponed because of his absence.

A letter from the Chief of Staff, Mrs Frema Osei Opare, said “pending the absence of the president’s representative at the Ministry of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, I am directed by H.E. the President to request that you [Adu-Boahen] act as his representative in the Ministry.”

“This directive is in accordance with section 14 (5) of the Presidential (Transition) Act, Act 845, (2021).”

“You are to take note of the provision of section 14 (5) which states that you; shall not take a decision involving a policy issue. Also, you are to act in accordance with letter no. SCR/DA555/01 dated 21 December, 2020 which gives directives on financial commitments, recruitments among others,” the Chief of Staff’s letter dated February 15 said.

An investment banker, Mr Adu-Boahen was one of the deputy’s to Mr. Ofori-Atta from 2017 to January 6, 2021, with specific focus on banking and finance.

Prior to his appointment in 2017, he was the CEO of Black Star Advisors (BSA) and had also worked with Standard Chartered Bank as Vice President and Head of Investment Banking for Sub-Saharan Africa and JP Morgan as Senior Representative for Nigeria.

He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern Carolina in the USA.