Merchant Bank would worth GHc5m after valuation – MP


The Member of Parliament for North Dayi, George Loh has defended the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz as the best deal and wants colleague MPs to reject an “irresponsible”  urgent motion filed by some Minority MPs.

According to him, the Minority should even be grateful that due diligence was not done on the bank, otherwise it would have been sold for a pittance.

“KPMG did not do valuation, if they did a valuation, somebody would be picking up Merchant Bank for like five million Ghana cedis, because the bank has run down so badly.”

Some Members of Parliament, mainly from the Majority side, are upset and outraged by the summon asking them to break their New Year holidays for an urgent sitting on the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz.

Even though the legislators were yet to deliberate on the motion as at 12noon on Monday, January 6, information gathered by Joy News indicated that the Majority in the house would use their numbers to vote against the motion.

The Speaker of Parliament summoned MPs from recess due to the motion signed by 80 legislators who are pushing for a parliamentary inquiry into the sale of SSNIT’s 90 per cent  shares in Merchant Bank to Fortiz for GHc90 million.

LIGHTENING SPEED
Mark Assibey Yeboah, MP for New Juaben South told Joy News’ parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey that Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul was expected to move the motion which will ask the house to set up a committee to investigate the sale of Merchant Bank.

He said the transaction has brought in its wake “a lot of issues” that need to be looked into.

Dr Assibey Yeboah cited for instance the issue of value for money; he claimed there is no record on the valuation of the bank to prove that Fortiz purchased the bank at the right value.

He also mentioned the lack of due diligence about the transaction as compared to what was done in the case of the botched First Rand deal: several months were spent on due diligence for Bank of Ghana to conclude its approval process on the South African bank.

“This one was done with lightening speed, so what happened that laid down processes were circumvented in this instance.”

SATISFIED WITH THE DEAL
But the Member of Parliament for North Dayi has rejected the urgency in their motion and described the action of the 80 Minority MPs as “irresponsible”.

He insisted that the motion has no “iota of evidence” to show that the transaction was a bad one, stressing “everybody worth his salt who understands financial [dealings] would know that Fortiz deal is the best deal”.

“Fortiz is coming with a super deal. We have studied the papers, we have listened to the presentations, we have done our own due diligence. We are totally satisfied with the deal”.

He believes the remaining shares of SSNIT in Merchant Bank would appreciate in value than what they have today in the near future.

Mr Loh was more appalled by the huge cost of the recall to the tax payer when the motion, in his view, is not an urgent matter, and could have waited for Parliament to resume before bringing it up.

He is therefore calling for the MPs who filed the motion to be surcharged.

MP for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak told Joy News last week that he was upset by the recall indicating that the Minority were abusing the emergency sitting which is meant for specific and important issues usually without ample time to discuss them.

“I am very hurt, I am very, very upset that in the middle of programmes in my constituency you are calling me to come back and the thing that you are calling me on is something which is in the law court.”

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