Kofi Amoabeng Reveals Ofori-Atta’s Hidden Side

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It has emerged that the now-defunct UT Bank, at a point saved Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s company from collapsing, however, the same man, could not do anything about his company; UT Bank.

He revealed that, hours before the closure of UT Bank, Ken Ofori-Atta, who was his “close pal” had called him on phone and they had a very cordial conversation, but sadly the Finance Minister, never mentioned to him that his bank was going to be shut down.

In a yet-to-be televised no holds barred exclusive interview with TV3 Business Focus, President of UT Holdings, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, also revealed, while President Akufo-Addo was in opposition, he borrowed money from UT, ostensibly to fund his political campaign.

“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’s Ghanaian company and they still got the potential and we help them out,” Mr Amoabeng, said in the interview which on TV3.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) on Monday, August 14, 2017, revoked the licences of UT and Capital banks due to their insolvency, leading to a seamless takeover of the two banks by GCB Bank.

UT Bank, which was trading on the Ghana Stock Exchange (SEC), had its listing status also suspended.

Provisional figures showed the total liability of UT Bank stood at GH¢850 million, while its total assets was pegged at GH¢112 million.

Mr Amoabeng, has since the revocation of the licence of UT Bank ,been a subject of investigations for what the central bank has termed as ‘willful deceit’.

Ofori-Atta and I were ‘very close’

The businessman revealed he “used to be very, very close to him [Ken Ofori-Atta]” but said, “I’m sure now I’m not his friend anymore”.

He recalled how Mr Ofori-Atta, called him on phone the day before his bank’s licence was revoked, but the Finance Minister, never mentioned anything about it.

According to him, they had a “normal chat” which bothered on family, noting he woke up the next morning, August 4, 2017, to find several missed calls on his phone.

“I woke up in the morning and…I had 66 missed calls and I said the world is coming to an end,” he said in the interview, noting he immediately called his daughter, who broke the news of the collapse of UT Bank to him.

Talking about the financial institution he created which existed for over 20 years before its eventual collapse, Mr Amoabeng, said UT created the now waste management giant, Zoomlion, which started off by selling exercise books, saying “we gave him (owner) funding to buy a printing machine”.

‘We never gave money to political parties’

Though Mr Amoabeng, said he gave loan to President Akufo-Addo, he indicated that politics was one area UT Bank, never supported.

The company, he said, “never gave money to any political party” for the over 20 years it existed, a policy he indicated, ruffled political feathers, leading to the end of the financial institution.

For him, politicians do not mean well for the country for which reason he was not ready to give his money to support them to win political power to superintend over corruption.

“I said I don’t trust that they meant well for this country,” Mr Amoabeng told Paa Kwesi Asare, adding “I wasn’t going to give them my money for them to come to power and be corrupt on the people. That was my policy”.

According to him, the only time his money went into politics was when his sister, who he did not name, stood for primaries.

The business mogul, indicated even in the midst of his crisis he resolved not to turn to politicians and people in high places, including pastors because they were going to eventually become his “head of HR” and be asking that their constituents and congregants were given employment.

Mr Amoabeng, said he only “wanted people with merit” in his company and not those handpicked by politicians and pastors to be employed.

He said, because he did not support politicians, he “failed on all counts and therefore, I was really a target for whoever”.

 Prince Kofi Amoabeng, has revealed he turned down several invitations to seek the assistance of two ‘big men’ in the country in getting back his bank.

According to him, people he knew suggested that he sought the intervention of former President John Kufuor and Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, when the BoG, revoked the licence of UT Bank.

The businessman, explained he refused the suggestions on the basis that the two were neither the governors of the Bank of Ghana nor the Finance Minister.

“When the bank was closed, people came to me and said oh, let’s go and see president Kufuor, let’s go and see Asantehene, and I said, they are not the governors, they are not minister of finance. Why should I go and see them?” he said in the TV3 interview.

He argued in the yet-to-be aired interview that such practice was not only a Ghanaian attitude but has also become an African issue.

The Ghanaian system today, he argued, does not reward hard work, indicating the system is favouring people who lie and those who are well connected to persons in high places.

Quoting an African proverb to support his claim, he said “the one who’s closer to the powers gets the best part of the meat. So ours is not about working hard, waking up in the morning going to catch the worm, no! It’s about having connections, lying to people and the things like that”.

Mr Amoabeng, indicated even in the midst of the crisis, he resolved not to turn to politicians and people in high places, including pastors because they were going to eventually become his “head of HR” and be asking that their constituents and congregants were given employment.

Though he said he respects positions, “I wouldn’t go close to them…I don’t want to go close to a politician,” he stated in the interview that is scheduled to air on TV3 Business Focus on Monday, September 30 at 6:00 p.m.

For him, politicians do not mean well for the country, for which reason he was not ready to give his money to support them to win political power to superintend over corruption.

“I said I don’t trust that they meant well for this country,” Mr Amoabeng told Paa Kwesi Asare, adding “I wasn’t going to give them my money for them to come to power and be corrupt on the people. That was my policy”.

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