The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has alleged that the Ministry of Trade and Industry recently charged expatriates between 25,000 and 100,000 dollars, to offer them seats close to the President at an awards ceremony.
According to the Asawase MP, the fees charged at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards were not the kind of fees approved by Parliament, and that the monies were also not accounted for in the Internally Generated Funds [IGF] of the Ministry’s accounts.
Muntaka made the revelation during the debate of the 2018 budget estimates for the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
“Mr. Speaker, I have worries about the IGF of the Ministry and how they go around, mobilizing resources on the IGF, and secondly Mr. Speaker, this item that I am going to mention in the breakdown of the Ministry’s IGF, was not included, yet they are bringing the budget excluding that collection. On 23rd September, 2017, the Ministry wrote to Ghana Expatriate Business Community for them to be informed that they are planning to organize an award ceremony for expatriate businesses that are in Ghana, and Mr. Speaker, shockingly enough, part of what was said was that, if you want to sit with the President, you have to pay 100,000 dollars. If you want to sit behind the President you have to 75,000 dollars. If you want to sit on another table called red circle, you have to pay 50,000 dollars. If you wanted to sit on the yellow circle, you have to pay 40,000 dollars, and if you wanted to sit on the green circle, you have to the 25,000 dollars.
“Mr. Speaker, this is very worrying because so far as I am concerned, the fees and charges that we approve in this house did not say that if we wanted to interact with the President you have to pay 100,000. Mr. Speaker, this gives credence to all that we have been hearing in the media that access to the President is very difficult,” Mr. Muntaka said on the floor of Parliament.
A communique to the expatriates, and sighted by citifmonline.com, detailed the specific amounts that was to be charged as stated by Mr. Muntaka, but Citi News cannot confirm if the amounts quoted were indeed paid.
It also requested that applicants “submit their details by 10th of November, 2017 to one Mr. Kwadwo Boateng at the KPMG’s office, Abelemkpe, in a sealed envelope” adding that information presented by applicants will be “kept strictly confidential.”
Suggestions are that, the practice of reserving specific tables at special events at a fee for those who wish to sit closer to high profile personalities or celebrities is abnormal or odd.
Click on the link below to read communique sighted by citifmonline.com.
By: Marian Ansah & Duke Mensah Opoku/citifmonline.com/Ghana