A confidante of the President, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, says he struggles to understand why renowned entrepreneur, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, has made a public disclosure about a loan facility his company advanced to the President and the Finance Minister.
The former Chief Executive of the defunct UT Bank, Kofi Amoabeng, revealed recently that his bank once supported President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta with a loan facility.
Mr Amoabeng made the revelation on a business programme on TV3, to back his point that local businesses needed to be supported.
He said: “In actual fact, our president; today’s president, when he was in opposition in his own party in around 2003, he came to UT of all places, a local company, and we gave him a loan and he admits that.
“The Minister of Finance, same thing; his own company would have gone down…and I said this is a Ghanaian company and they still got the potential and we helped them out.”
Mr Kofi Amoabeng’s bank is among the two banks whose licenses were revoked by the central bank and their assets taken over by GCB Bank in 2018, the other bank being the Capital Bank.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) revoked the licenses of UT Bank Ltd and approved a Purchase and Assumption (P&A) transaction with GCB Bank Ltd that transferred all deposits and selected assets of UT Bank Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd to GCB Bank Ltd.
BoG Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, said the move had become necessary due to severe impairment of the capitals of UT Bank and Capital Bank.
Following that dramatic turn of events, the main offices and branches of UT Bank and Capital Bank came to be under the control of GCB bank.
The turn of events dealt a heavy blow to the image of Mr Amoabeng who is celebrated as an astute businessman and a champion of local entrepreneurship.
Reacting to Kofi Amoabeng’s revelations, Mr Otchere-Darko, who is also a cousin to the President, took to his Facebook wall to justify the BoG’s decision on grounds that it was in the nation’s interest.
“Is he saying if his financial institution advanced credit to Nana Akufo-Addo, which, by the way, was fully paid back under President Rawlings, then, for this reason, his bank should have been spared when it became manifestly insolvent under President Akufo-Addo?” he asked.
He added: “I think his story is rather a good one for money and politics. That there are politicians who will take decisions in the national interest first and not be primarily influenced necessarily by who funded their campaign, if that.”
Read his full Facebook reaction to Mr Amoabeng below.
Yes, so Nana Akufo-Addo took a loan from Unique Trust decades ago, which was fully paid back by 2000 (not 2003); so what? After all, what are lenders for? Banks are there to lend and borrowers agree to pay back even if interest rates are prohibitive.
But, I’m struggling to make heads or tails out of this story. Did Prince Amoabeng say he gave a loan to Nana Akufo-Addo for Nana’s political campaign and is he also saying he does not fund political parties? As a person or as UT? I don’t understand.
Is he saying if his financial institution advanced credit to Nana Akufo-Addo, which, by the way, was fully paid back under President Rawlings, then, for this reason, his bank should have been spared when it became manifestly insolvent under President Akufo-Addo? I doubt that is what he is saying. He wouldn’t.
I think his story is rather a good one for money and politics. That there are politicians who will take decisions in the national interest first and not be primarily influenced necessarily by who funded their campaign, if that.
Prince Amoabeng is one person we have all admired for what he achieved as a businessman. Discipline was his motto, as we saw it from afar. In fact, I featured him on my talk show, Gabby’s Airtime on TV3 in 2003 to tell his great story. Yes, at one time, I also took a loan from UT for my talk show. But, it wasn’t for free! He took a personal asset of mine as collateral because the Talk Show had no such asset. He would not have waived it if I had defaulted beyond redemption. That’s why I am wondering what the point of this disclosure that he once funded Nana Addo and Ken Ofori-Atta is all about.